Sauber: Poorly Perez reaches the points

2011 Japanese GP team review

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

Kamui KobayashiSergio Perez
Qualifying position717
Qualifying time comparison (Q1)1’32.626 (-2.078)1’34.704
Race position138
Pit stops22

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

Kamui Kobayashi109.176103.591104.212102.373102.338102.023102.54102.559103.629105.207121.454100.717101.108100.958102.518104.105100.78100.863101.402101.651101.249101.173101.419122.806142.879108.11148.866102.858101.512100.667101.011100.809100.469101.176100.547100.326100.688100.185100.281100.284100.5100.04899.98899.724100.917100.962100.92399.75101.288100.663100.499100.559100.792
Sergio Perez112.362104.417105.756102.977103.538102.111102.5101.654102.954101.982103.171101.95101.767101.925101.749102.053102.158103.879102.626106.403116.80398.93898.942120.798125.318119.358149.628102.15398.64998.97298.62299.61899.23499.44499.824100.114102.26120.67896.56997.99298.04597.21597.49798.07698.55297.88998.10298.17298.68899.37599.969100.0499.338

Kamui Kobayashi

Start tyreSoft
Pit stop 1Soft 24.263s
Pit stop 2Medium 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
Start tyreMedium
Pit stop 1Soft 21.655s
Pit stop 2Soft 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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    Image © Sauber F1 Team

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    Keith Collantine
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    28 comments on “Sauber: Poorly Perez reaches the points”

    1. I wanted so much for Kamui to have a great race. Guess all his cards played themselves against him.

      1. @Mike Kamui’s Saturday was astonishing, with him leading Q1, reaching Q3 and qualifying a career-best 7th, behind only the top 3 teams, in front of his home crowd. Surely Sunday didn’t go according to plans, and we didn’t see the overtakes he did last year, but both his and Perez’s passes at the hairpin were wise and very nice.
        Perez was unlucky to not set a time in Q2, but his race was excellent.

    2. From now on I shall call Perez, Poorly Perez. Oh and Kobayashi shall we, Krazy Kamui Kobayashi.

      1. Kamikaze Kobayashi. No too common!? Speedy Perez instead of gonzalez no!?

    3. Perez did a brilliant job this weekend and I’ve been hugely impressed with him all season. I noticed he set the fastest lap towards the end of the race and held it until right near the end when Button beat it – but only by one thousandth of a second!

      Perez seems able to not only conserve his tyres during a race, but to maintain a very competitive pace whilst doing so. He’s been outclassing Kamui recently and based on what we saw last year, that’s no mean feat.

      Despite being young he also strikes me as a very intelligent, honest and grounded driver, and I love the fact he was able to make a joke with his engineers at the end of the race. If he can maintain these sort of performances into next year he’ll very quickly become the leading contender for Massa’s seat in 2013.

      1. <3 jenson that one thousandth got me 25 points in the badger gp fantasty f1.

        Props where it's due though he looked terrible on saturday but managed to outdo kamui on sunday. Sad for kamui to wish he could have had a good race at home

      2. I see Perez like that as well. And to think some were saying he only got the drive as a pay driver at the start of the season!

      3. @DanThorn I’m sorry but I’m going to have to disagree with you about Kamui. Perez has impressed me more than Kobayashi all season particularly this weekend when he was ill but I still don’t rate Kamui. He can be truly dreadful during qualifying and although he’s exciting I don’t think he’s got the pace.

        I can see Sergio becoming a contender for Ferrari in 2013 if Massa doesn’t up his game but personally (it’ll never happen) I want di Resta in that seat or in a dream world Seb. If not though I think they should wait for Bianchi. I don’t know what program he was running at the last test and if his time being better than Sergio’s means anything but although he’s had a tough time in GP2 that’s mainly because he was so crashtastic. Sergio’s fit into F1 very well but I still don’t know what to make of him right now particularly as he is only up against Kobayashi.

        1. Typical over reaction to a good race, what formula have you been watching steph? kamuis out done perez most of the year and generaly been faster to just look at the points he’s scored twice as many….

          1. You forget that Perez has started 2 grand prix less than Kobayashi. He’s also had one more retirement (he was running 7th in Monza), and beat Kobayashi in Australia before their disqualification. And he’s a rookie. I have to say, whenever I take a look at Perez, he seems to be doing well. He’s also out-qualified Kobayashi 9-4.

        2. I’m not sure I rate Kobayashi either. I do enjoy watching him, and would be dissapointed if he left F1, but I’m not sure he’s fast enough, and if he is I’d be surprised if he ever did better than Sato. He reminds me of Sutil perhaps.

          As for Perez, I’m not sure why, but I quite like him. It would be a shame for him to ruin that by going to Ferrari :p

    4. Sergio Perez is a good driver who can make his tyres last well on long runs, but I am still not convinced that he is the real deal. If the rumour mill is to be believed, then the Mexican is on the Scuderia’s wishlist as a replacement for Felipe Massa. This is hardly surprising given Sauber’s close links with the boys from Maranello, and the ironic bit that Massa’s career took the exact same route, but I have my reservations. Point being, if anybody deserves that seat alongside Alonso I can think of others better than Perez. His own team mate springs to mind, or Nico Rosberg. Last but not least, Paul De Resta, my vote for best rookie in 2011. Hands up who would not want to see Kobayashi in a Ferrari?

      1. Well, based on what we’ve seen in recent races, putting Kobayashi at Ferrari would be worse than putting Perez there. I agree that there are people like Nico Rosberg who would probably have more success at Ferrari in the short term, but taking Rosberg as an example, why would he want to go to Ferrari and be a number two, when he could stay at Mercedes and be a Number 1? Or, at least have the chance to be a number one? Di Resta has been probably the best rookie so far this year, yes (but only just IMO) but he has strong connections to Mercedes and a Ferrari drive would be somewhat of a surprise.

        Perez is young enough and smart enough to take Ferrari on as a long term prospect – learning from Alonso and building up aspects of his driving so that he’s ready to take over from Alonso if and when he leaves the team/the sport, or to take to another team if he gets fed up there – much as Massa did alongside Schumacher.

        1. That’s exactly the way I see things at the moment. Another thing to note is that Domenicali has said several times now that they want a young up and coming driver to act as understudy to Alonso. What better understudy than Perez who’s a part of your own driver training programme?
          A bit early to be saying it but the 2013 drivers market is going to be brilliant – Massa out of a contract, Webber might leave, Schumi out of contract…what’s the betting that Perez-Ferrari, Di Resta-Merc and Ricciardo-Red Bull will happen?

      2. I think both Kobayashi and Perez have bright futures with bigger teams. If Red Bull and Ferrari do not keep Webber and Massa, then I can see both of them taking the seats.

        As for Sauber’s race, Perez did a great job. With Kobayashi though, Lady Luck really did it in for Kobayashi, I think he could have scored points if it wasn’t for the safety car.

    5. according to Domenicali a young talent will be with fernando in the future & sergio in the last test in fiorano along side with Jules Bianchi in the f60 impressed the engineers in maranello
      the next year he need just to be consistant + calm & by the end of 2012 he’ll replace massa

    6. by the way ferrari will prove some parts of the 2012 car in the next corean gran prix according to Autosprint they will prove a new revolutionary gear box & the front wing

    7. What a comparison. Kobayashi was so unlucky last weekend. However Perez show he’s really kind to tyres and still has pace. Impressive.

    8. I was begining to think that DiResta would become rookie of the year and now Perez has done himself a world of good in pursuit.

    9. Kobayashi scored 16 points in the two races Perez missed. So, in the races Perez has raced in the points are Perez 13-11 Kobayashi.

      1. Don’t forget about Australia where the Sauber team was disqualified.
        Take that in consideration and you have Perez 19 – 15 Kobayashi.

    10. Perez is the rookie of the year hands down. He is 4 years younger than DiResta and has shown more maturity and experience than DiResta.
      In my opinion these are the two best new drivers, can’t wait to see them battle with the big teams. Perez(Ferreri) vs. DiResta(Mercedes)

      Perez missed a couple of races in the Monaco accident where he was ready to show his driving qualities fighting for a top 5 spot in Q3. Unfortunately a small mistake cost him big time.

      I haven’t seen DiResta do something extraordinary like Perez. Monaco Q3, 7th place in his first F1 race and fastest lap in Japan.

      Perez is the real deal my friends.

    11. Just as I am disspointed for Kobayashi I am delighted for Perez.Kamui had a good opportunity to finish the race where he has started.

    12. A real shame for Kobayashi but at least he finished the race, i’m sure his fans were happy to see as much of him as possible. Perez really impressed me again.

    13. Funny comment about the ineffectiveness of the DRS-zone:

      “I tried to fight other cars then but overtaking wasn’t as easy as it was here last year.”

      Last year Kobayashi started on the harder tyres in order to be quick in the final stages of the race, which was nice to watch. So maybe he should have made another pitstop at the end of this year’s race too.

    14. I don’t agree with the idea that joining Ferrari for any young driver is a bad idea. Everybody goes on about Fernando Alonso and that it is ‘his’ team, but sometimes we get a driver who is happy for all of the pressure to be on the other guy. Two years ago many of you said Button was crazy for joining McLaren, that Hamilton would not only destroy but humiliate him. That Jenson was only an ‘average’ driver and that it was the Brawn Gp car’s dominance in early 2009 that made him a world champion. He has proved so many of us wrong in 2011, and stands on the verge of giving Lewis the worst beating he has had in his F1 career. And that is something Fernando failed to do in 2007 when he was at McLaren.
      Take Nico Rosberg. Nobody thought he was be able to compete against Michael Schumacher, Eddie Irvine and Rubens Barrichello were certainly second best during Michael’s Ferrari years. Yet Rosberg has done exactly what Jenson has done at McLaren, he has kept his head down and set about beating his team mate.
      A quick team mate certainly wasn’t a concern of Aryton Senna, who became legendary for taking on Alain Prost at a McLaren team the Frenchman had dominated. And beat him to the 1988 drivers world championship! So, for drivers with the balls, taking on a multi world champion driver should be a challenge to be relished not feared.

    15. Watching the timing during the race sometimes I could not believe the lap times Sergio was doing. If it were not for Jenson, Perez would be by Driver of the Race (not Driver of the whole GP though)!

    16. 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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