Sauber: Poorly Perez reaches the points

2011 Japanese GP team review

Sauber’s new parts helped Sergio Perez to an excellent eighth from 17th on the grid despite him being unwell.

Kamui Kobayashi Sergio Perez
Qualifying position 7 17
Qualifying time comparison (Q1) 1’32.626 (-2.078) 1’34.704
Race position 13 8
Laps 53/53 53/53
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 53
Kamui Kobayashi 109.176 103.591 104.212 102.373 102.338 102.023 102.54 102.559 103.629 105.207 121.454 100.717 101.108 100.958 102.518 104.105 100.78 100.863 101.402 101.651 101.249 101.173 101.419 122.806 142.879 108.11 148.866 102.858 101.512 100.667 101.011 100.809 100.469 101.176 100.547 100.326 100.688 100.185 100.281 100.284 100.5 100.048 99.988 99.724 100.917 100.962 100.923 99.75 101.288 100.663 100.499 100.559 100.792
Sergio Perez 112.362 104.417 105.756 102.977 103.538 102.111 102.5 101.654 102.954 101.982 103.171 101.95 101.767 101.925 101.749 102.053 102.158 103.879 102.626 106.403 116.803 98.938 98.942 120.798 125.318 119.358 149.628 102.153 98.649 98.972 98.622 99.618 99.234 99.444 99.824 100.114 102.26 120.678 96.569 97.992 98.045 97.215 97.497 98.076 98.552 97.889 98.102 98.172 98.688 99.375 99.969 100.04 99.338

Kamui Kobayashi

Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 24.263s
Pit stop 2 Medium 22.299s

Kobayashi had a busy Friday, running wide twice at Spoon curve then surviving a dramatic moment at 130R. The car snapped away from him at 300kph and he reacted in time to keep it out of the barriers.

He made the most of Sauber’s new upgrade to edge Adrian Sutil to claim the final place in Q3.

Cunningly the team sent him out for a banker run at the beginning of the session but did not set a time. This paid dividends as three other drivers also did not set times, allowing Kobayashi to qualify a career-best seventh despite not putting a lap in during Q3.

But he lost the advantage at the start as the car went into anti-stall mode and five cars passed him before the first corner.

Now 12th, he struggled to make progress and spent the first stint stuck behind Sebastien Buemi: “I tried to fight other cars then but overtaking wasn?t as easy as it was here last year.”

His first pit stop on lap ten was not very quick and he fell behind the other Toro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari, who was running long.

Kobayashi made his second stop during the safety car period, switching to medium tyres. Having progressed as far as ninth he attempted to finish the race on this set but began losing places with ten laps to go.

Both Force Indias plus Vitaly Petrov and Nico Rosberg passed him, dropping him well out of the points.

He paid tribute to the Japanese crowd after the race: “I am very proud of all the Japanese fans who are so excited about Formula 1. They are a great crowd and for me it was a very emotional day.”

Kamui Kobayashi 2011 form guide

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez, Sauber, Suzuka, 2011

Sergio Perez, Sauber, Suzuka, 2011

Start tyre Medium
Pit stop 1 Soft 21.655s
Pit stop 2 Soft 24.461s

Perez was stymied by an hydraulic problem in Q2: “I lost everything, starting with the power steering. Therefore I could not go out in Q2, which is obviously disappointing.”

But despite suffering from flu, Perez brought the car home in the points.

He slipped back a place as Jarno Trulli passed him on lap three. But he claimed the place back four laps later and took the other Lotus on the next tour as the grip from his tyres improved.

He made it as far as lap 20 without pitting, by which time he was up to ninth place. He regained the place by staying out as others pitted during the safety car period.

Perez passed Petrov immediately after the safety car came in, then built up a gap as the Renault driver fell back and held up the chasing cars.

He came in for his final pit stop on lap 37 and passed his team mate and Pastor Maldonado, the latter at the hairpin, on his way back into the points.

Despite being unwell, he was still able to crack a joke with his team mate as he crossed the finishing line in eighth place, telling them “I lost power!” over the team radio.

Technical director James Key praised his efforts afterwards, saying: “Sergio drove a really strong race, and his pace was very good.

“His strategy was the opposite to Kamui?s, and it seems that this was the right way to go. He wasn?t helped by the safety car either, but his pace first on the medium tyre and then the soft tyres towards the end was very consistent, and it allowed him to make up many positions from 17th to eighth.

“He really did a fantastic job.”

Sergio Perez 2011 form guide

2011 Japanese Grand Prix

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28 comments on Sauber: Poorly Perez reaches the points

  1. Ferrari Perez needs a faster car to show what he can do. RBR did not waste time with Vettle and look at them now.

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