Sauber had a very busy and eventful first day to the Canadian GP weekend with a driver change and an accident. After Sergio Pérez hadn’t felt a hundred per cent in the first free practice session in Montréal, driver and team decided it would be better for him to sit out this race weekend. Pedro de la Rosa stepped in for him and drove in the second free practice.
By the time the car was ready for the Spanish driver, Kamui Kobayashi had gone off and his car had hit a wall on the challenging Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
From a technical perspective, during the first session in the morning Pérez and Kobayashi had carried out some aero tests, after testing the new medium tyre compound from Pirelli and worked on the balance of the car. In the afternoon Kobayashi kept working on the set-up, while De la Rosa was busy with basic work to get comfortable in the car.
“We have had quite a busy programme today. In the morning it was very difficult to drive because the track was so slippery. I found it difficult to judge the car’s balance on the new tyre compound we have had for testing. Despite this I tried different downforce levels and worked on the set-up. For the afternoon session the car was better, but then I made a mistake when I tried to do a fast lap on super soft tyres and hit the wall. It was obviously my fault. In respect of my new temporary team mate, I obviously know Pedro very well from last year and I will try to support him here over the weekend. For Sergio, I wish him a good and speedy total recovery.“
“First of all I hope Sergio gets well soon. For me it was unexpected to jump into the car today. We had to get a lot of things ready for me to get into the car, but luckily we managed to do one proper run. Of course I have to learn a lot about the 2011 car, but the most important thing now is I have to get comfortable with the seat and pedals. However, I feel ready and just need a little bit of time in the car.”
James Key, Technical Director:
“It is a shame Sergio wasn’t well enough to drive, but obviously it is thanks to Pedro for stepping in on such short notice. Of course we know Pedro very well, which helps. The team, the engineers and mechanics did a great job to do a driver seat fitting and get the car out all within the time frame of the afternoon session. It was important for Pedro to get a feeling for the car before tomorrow. Kamui did a normal programme in the afternoon. Then he just put the car on a kerb and ran wide when he was on super soft tyres. He wasn’t able to continue. Until then there was a good improvement. We still have some work to do, but we are looking forward to having a productive day tomorrow.”