Sergio Perez, Nick Heidfeld, Silverstone, 2011

Sauber: Perez claims best-ever result

2011 British GP team reviewPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Mixed fortunes for the Sauber drivers as Perez takes seventh but Kobayashi endures a race to forget.

Kamui Kobayashi Sergio Perez
Qualifying position 8 12
Qualifying time comparison (Q2) 1’32.399 (-0.225) 1’32.624
Race position 7
Laps 23/52 52/52
Pit stops 2 2

Sauber drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011drivercolours.csv
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52
Kamui Kobayashi 121.207 115.097 113.761 113.531 113.374 113.312 112.885 113.182 121.055 112.044 108.355 136.722 108.83 105.54 104.153 103.824 103.042 102.677 105.298 98.113 127.383 101.233 100.703
Sergio Perez 126.739 114.929 113.907 114.911 115.201 113.731 113.139 112.942 113.098 112.726 112.332 108.813 127.051 104.907 103.922 102.653 101.838 101.662 101.048 100.976 99.958 100.129 101.085 99.862 99.751 100.031 99.659 99.386 98.288 98.139 97.987 97.02 115.481 96.943 96.656 97.589 97.102 97.674 97.352 97.081 97.437 97.202 97.615 97.516 98.129 98.048 98.107 98.994 98.313 100.671 100.123 100.933

Kamui Kobayashi

Smashed his car up badly in first practice – “I lost control on the wet astro turf” – but his mechanics had the car fixed in time for second practice.

Always dramatic when the track was slippery, Kobayashi reached Q3 for the third time the year an lined up eighth on the grid.

He held his position at the start until he was knocked into a spin by Michael Schumacher on lap eight, which cost him a place to Adrian Sutil.

Kobayashi pitted on lap 13 but made a slow getaway from his pit box and clipped Force India’s airlines as he tried to avoid hitting Pastor Maldonado.

He was given a stop-go penalty for the infraction and the team were fined ??20,000 for an “unsafe release”.

The contact with Maldonado damaged his front wing, allowing Nick Heidfeld and Jaime Alguersuari to overtake him. He fell to 18th place after taking his penalty.

Three laps later the team noticed the car was losing oil and told him to stop. “I was very unlucky,” he said.

“I think there is not a lot for me to say about the accident with Michael. We were not side by side, and he obviously hit the rear of my car. From then on I had to drive with a damaged car.”

Kamui Kobayashi 2011 form guide

Sergio Perez, Nick Heidfeld, Silverstone, 2011
Sergio Perez, Nick Heidfeld, Silverstone, 2011

Sergio Perez

In a very close qualifying session Perez was less than four-hundredths of a second off reaching Q3, but ended up 12th.

He lost a place to Schumacher at the start but gained another from Maldonado a few laps later.

Perez stayed out of trouble and exploited Sauber’s usual tactic of stretching his stints out to make one fewer pit stop than most of the cars ahead.

He spent much of the final stint on Nico Rosberg’s tail. Although he was disappointed not to be able to pass Mercedes, he was satisfied with the result:

“Unfortunately I couldn?t overtake Nico. I was very close but he was too fast on the straights.

“Overall I am happy and now the difficult times are behind me. After the accident it took me time to get back into the rhythm of the season, and find the momentum I had before it. In two weeks? time I shall be even stronger.

Sergio Perez 2011 form guide

2011 British Grand Prix

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Image ?? Sauber F1 Team