The Sauber F1 Team had an Australian Grand Prix which Team Principal Peter Sauber has called a dream start. Sergio Pérez managed to drive 35 laps on a single set of the soft Pirelli tyres, and this way made it from 13th on the grid to seventh at the finish line in Melbourne.
The rookie driver was followed past the flag by his team mate Kamui Kobayashi, who had to change tyres twice and came eighth.
Sergio Pérez: 7th
Sauber C30-Ferrari (Chassis 01 / Ferrari 056)
“I will never forget this race, that is certain. After we changed from the hard to the soft tyres, I thought at first I had to push. But then I realised I could manage the tyres quite well and we decided to go to the end with them. I lost some time behind Sebastian Vettel, but I was then able to overtake him. I used the rear wing and he also left room. I am very proud of my team, the strategy worked and it was a nice surprise the tyres lasted so long. I want to thank everybody, especially in Mexico, who helped me to get into Formula One.“
Kamui Kobayashi: 8th
Sauber C30-Ferrari (Chassis 03 / Ferrari 056)
“I’m very happy we have managed to score points with both cars. I had a good start and got by Alonso, who overtook me later. With the first set of soft tyres I was struggling to warm them up. With the second set of the soft ones I think the pace was good, and also the third stint on the harder tyres was okay. I had a big moment when Rubens Barrichello and Nico Rosberg crashed in front of me, but no more excitement after that. It is a good start and makes me feel happy looking forward to the season.”
Peter Sauber, Team Principal: “I would call this a dream start to the season, as we could not have expected this. It is also a well deserved reward for both drivers. Kamui’s eighth place was a superb job. I have no explanation for what Sergio did, and how he managed to do 35 laps with a set of used soft tyres setting consistent lap times.”
James Key, Technical Director: “This is obviously a very positive day to get both cars to the finish and into the points. Both drivers did exactly what we needed them to do. We had nail biting last few laps but Sergio did a superb job to finish the race with those tyres. Also for Kamui, the race and strategy worked well. He had to stop twice because of the tyres he used in qualifying. We are very happy with this start to the season and are looking forward to Malaysia very much.”