Sauber: Perez nearly grabs a point with one-stopper

2011 European GP team review

Posted on

| Written by

An audacious one-stop strategy almost paid off for Sergio Perez.

Kamui KobayashiSergio Perez
Qualifying position1416
Qualifying time comparison (Q2)1’39.525 (-0.132)1’39.657
Race position1611
Pit stops21

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

Kamui Kobayashi119.444108.92107.95108.004106.805107.524107.434107.394107.716107.769125.388112.919106.759107.649109.271107.651107.47106.775106.587106.75106.793106.86107.915107.287107.566107.469107.256107.081107.753107.672107.062107.551122.049110.614104.424104.34104.413103.956104.249104.118103.547103.517103.7103.871108.182107.597104.472104.605105.538104.356104.307104.991104.632104.574106.101105.901
Sergio Perez121.525109.736109.234108.309108.867107.962108.159107.979107.9107.594108.225107.594107.798107.935108.847107.442109.835108.451108.846107.598108.714108.815107.901108.372126.008110.972105.822105.429105.323104.553104.557104.416104.764104.491104.407104.557104.405110.495104.147104.117103.949104.058103.981104.244104.385104.246105.442104.492104.64104.349106.647105.716104.49104.839105.404106.046

Kamui Kobayashi

There was to be no repeat of Kobayashi’s impressive 2010 drive in Valencia – he slumped to 16th place at the flag after being passed by Vitaly Petrov.

Technical director James Key said: “Kamui started on the soft tyres, then went on the medium in the middle stint, and tried to use the new soft tyres in the end as a two stopper. That didn?t quite work out.

“The medium tyres were too slow, but we didn?t want to run too long on the soft in the end. In hindsight maybe a three stop strategy would have been better.”

Kamui Kobayashi 2011 form guide

Sergio Perez, Sauber, Valencia, 2011
Sergio Perez, Sauber, Valencia, 2011

Sergio Perez

Perez wasn’t the only driver to start the race on medium tyres – but he was the only driver to stick with them long enough to make a one-stop strategy work.

He qualified 16th for his first race back from injury, a tenth of a second slower than his team mate. He started on medium tyres and dropped behind Jaime Alguersuari early on.

He persisted with the tyres despite their poor pace. He was passed by three cars on lap 17: Adrian Sutil getting by at turn 12, Nick Heidfeld on the outside of turn 17 and finally Rubens Barrichello lunged past him at the final corner.

But he stayed out until lap 25 before switching to soft tyres. Having done the longest stint of any driver on medium tyres he now did the same on soft tyres.

A string of drivers in front of him pitted, elevating him to 11th place. He briefly put Heidfeld under pressure for the final points place but dropped back in the final laps as his tyres finally started to go off and he was lapped by the leaders.

Sergio Perez 2011 form guide

2011 European Grand Prix

    Browse all 2011 European Grand Prix articles

    Image ?? Sauber F1 Team

    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    11 comments on “Sauber: Perez nearly grabs a point with one-stopper”

    1. My selective dyslexia had me read the title of this article as “Perez nearly grabs a pint with a stripper” – I thought Keith had temporarily lost his mind, joined the ranks of the Murdoch press and was going for a bit of sensationalism to attract some non F1Fanatics to the site :-)

      1. looooool. haha i can see that too1

      2. I thought Keith had temporarily lost his mind, joined the ranks of the Murdoch press and was going for a bit of sensationalism to attract some non F1Fanatics to the site


    2. a shame sergio couldn’t eke a few more laps out of the primes. the fact he made the softer options last longer than the primes is impressive. not sure it would have got him past heidfeld though.

      1. ScottishNotBritish
        27th June 2011, 20:09

        One question… how???

        How is the Sauber (especially in the hands of Perez) able to preserve its tyres for so long? All the other teams’s tyres seem to fall off a cliff at about the same point but these guys just keep going-and-going-and-going.

        It really is a remarkable feature of this new F1 2011 which needs to be investigated. Over to you, Keith.

    3. Sergio continues to impress. He is a strong contender for rookie of the year along with Paul

    4. Nice to see Perez trying a different strategy again. :)

      Shame that he didn’t get any points on either occasion. :(

    5. Good stuff from Sergio. In hindsight, they lost lots of seconds on the medium compound, it could have been better to pull an Alguersuari and lose those seconds on a 2nd stop instead of on the track, leaving him with soft rubber for the last pull. But you never know anyway.

      The car wasn’t up to the task in Valencia, it suffers a lot on heavy breaking and exiting slow corners, which is what Valencia is all about. I look forward to their form in Silverstone!

    6. I think the two performances are related. The Sauber is great on its tyres but that same characteristic would have made it hard to be competitive on the medium tyre.

      1. Sounds reasonable. Good comeback to racing for Perez, even if he did not quite make it into the points.

    7. I think its a big result for Sergio, an accident like the one he had at Monaco could have seriously derailed a lesser driver psychologically. I’m chuffed for him :)

    Comments are closed.