Sergio Perez, Sauber, Melbourne, 2011

Perez: “A dream start I will remember forever”

2011 Australian Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez, Peter Sauber, Melbourne, 2011
Sergio Perez, Peter Sauber, Melbourne, 2011

Sergio Perez said he did not expect to be able to do just one pit stop during the Australian Grand Prix.

The Sauber driver said:

“To be honest we never thought that we could only do one stop. In the briefing we spoke about two or three stops depending how the race was going.

“But then I did a very long stint on the prime. Everybody was on options so I lost some positions. But I was very consistent, then suddenly I dropped a lot. So I came in.

“When I put the options on I thought it was going to be 10 to 15 laps so I really pushed. I had Vettel in front of me for some time so it cost me the sixth position to [Jenson] Button because I lost around eight seconds.

“So when he was in front of me I tried to save a lot because I was losing a lot my fronts by getting behind him. He pitted, I overtook him, and then I managed the tyres quite nicely, I was not going to the limit, and still me tyres were three or four tenths away from what I could do.

“I’m really happy for the team. It’s a great day for the team, for Kamui [Kobayashi] and myself, so I’m very proud for them.”

Perez described his result as a “dream”:

“It was really nice. It’s a dream start for me just to be in the points, to have such a nice race, a good strategy, everything went fine.

“It’s a debut that I will remember forever.”

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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...

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52 comments on “Perez: “A dream start I will remember forever””


    1. damn caps lock key.

      a bad workman always blames his fools, I mean tools….

      stupid keyboard.

    2. You got the capslock stuck there Sush?

      Looks like Peter Sauber really has a good hand at picking exiting drivers.

      1. Yeah Bas, pinky finger got all excited at seeing a new article with zero comments.

        While my journalistic editing skills are clearly in question my point still stands with regards to Sauber nurturing some cracking rookie drives.

        If my name was Jaime AlguerSUAVE (do you see what I did there?), I’d be taking the Sauber sponsors out for Lobster dinners.

        1. A bit of a shame then about the DSQ for Sauber. The season is only one race in and already we have the first controversy!

          1. I know. Reading that Perez quote now, just breaks my heart for him. Nothing he did to be DQ’d, and it wasn’t performance enhancing. I hope they’re successful with their appeal, though I doubt they will be.

  2. Bravo Sergio! Looks like he has a real skill at tyre management and he looked lively all race. Hope this is the first of many successes for him.

    Also well done to Peter Sauber for spotting him when he perhaps wasn’t the obvious choice.

    1. Sauber appear to have a very good, if young, line up. Perez looks ace and the Car looks good too. Very impressive from the lad.

  3. this drive should shut up all those complaining about tires, a rookie managed to get the race distance completed with 1 pit stop strategy and was ahead of his team mate… and was lapping decent lap times. great job!! clearly he was the rookie of the race by far.

    1. Thed rookie started on fresh rubber. By not making it into the top 10 he had fresh sets of tyres to drive with. His team mate had no fresh sets beacause of the effort to make it into the top 10 in qualifying. Which makes you wonder why a driver has to be punished for his qualifying efforts.

      1. Time to scrap the qualifying tyres rule I think.

        Take nothing away from the Perez drive though. Even in a car that looked like it treated its tyres well, it’s was a consummate effort.

      2. One of the very silliest rules. Like the mandatory pitstop.

      3. That’s a very good point, Oliver. That’s why he won over Kobayashi, Massa and Buemi, who fought hard to get into Q3.

        1. of then in that case Massa should have managed to do two stops instead of doing three? the rest of the guys behind top 10 should have managed in 1 stop too.

          1. Schumacher might have managed a 1 stop if It hadn’t been for his early incident.

    2. @ Dev he was actually lapping pretty slowly but gained 54 – 56 seconds over all those that made 3 stops.
      Although it was a very good drive for his 1st race

      1. @BBT: Lapping very slowly? Perez set the fastest lap (droping 1:30’s Sec barrier) on lap 40 or 41.
        Ofcourse he gained time against the ones who stop 3 times, but he sustain 13 Sec gap against he’s next follower -Kabui- for more than 15 laps!

        1. Lapping PRETTY slowly.

  4. Vastly outshone the other South American rookie today, i think this could turn out to be be an inspired signing by Sauber in the long run. Clearly kept his cool when surrounded by faster drivers at certain times too. And one stop?! Could he become 2011’s tyre management master? :P

    1. Mexico is in south America now? Wow.

      1. yes….. mexico is in south america. Duh….

        1. Better learn your geography. Mexico is in North America..

        2. @MattHT. No, Mexico is in North America portion of the Continent. Or how can you explain this?: Canada and United States is North America. Then Mexico is South America (according to your geographical setting). Then is Central America, (begining with Gatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, etc.) and the AGAIN South America!!! ??? Woooooowwwww DuuuuuuuH! What happen here is that (some) United States habitants deny this fact because they thing that AMERICA is their property. Ignorants.

          1. Sorry for typos:

  5. Great job from Sergio. How on earth he managed one stop I’ll never know.

    Maybe it’s something the teams will take note of. Hopefully not otherwise it’s back to 1 stop racing again.

  6. Massively impressed, one for the future.

  7. Fantastic drive from Perez. I’m so happy for him.

  8. Great drive, very impressive, I wonder how many teams will be trying that gamble in future races.

  9. And I was thikning he was a nasty pay driver when he signed, well done Perez! but your livery is still not that great=P

    1. That however seems true for Maldonado, backed by the loathsome gorilla

  10. I believe Kobayashi wanted a good result to dedicate to people back home. Which explains why he didn’t try to defend from Button or Alonso. As both would have resulted in the loss of time and wear on his already limited supply of fresh tyres.

  11. It’s a debut that I will remember forever.

    It’s his debut, he has only one…

  12. I think Perez’s strategy opens up a world of possibilities. He’s demonstrated that one-stops are possible, but I’m not expecting them to be common because Fernando Alonso has shown that a three-stop strategy can be equally effective. I think a lot of two-stoppers will try for a single stop, which is going to create an interesting scenario late in the race when they find they just don’t have the grip. I think it will be especially common at circuits with short pit lanes because the drivers will lose less if they get it wrong and are forced to pit. Look for it at Silverstone, Montreal and Monza in particular. At the opposite end of the scale, we won’t be seeing it at circuits with longer/slower pit lanes; so don’t expect it at the Nurburgring, Interlagos or the Hungaroring.

    1. Agree fully, apart from one small thing: no one IMO is stipid enough to try a 1-stop in Montreal no matter how short the pitlane is.No one did that since the mid-nineties and race tyres were much harder then.

      1. It’s a very short pit. If someone has nothing to lose and everything to gain and if they think they can pull it off, they might go for it. It’s like Button running a high(er)-downforce setup at Monza: nobody saw it coming, nobody would have thought of it, and he very nearly won the race with it.

        1. The track also has the harshest surface of the lot though, by far. As evidenced by last year’s race.

          Nobody is doing one stop in Canada.

    2. I think short pit lanes have to opposite effect, in that they plan for more pit stops as the time loss is reduced.

      Doesn’t China have a long pit lane?

  13. Gnarly Racing (@)
    27th March 2011, 11:58

    Just heard Sauber have been disqualified. What kind of stupid rule…why wasn’t it picked up in scrutineering on Thursday or whenever?!

    Really hard luck guys, still a memorable performance and a great start though.

    1. why wasn’t it picked up in scrutineering on Thursday or whenever?!

      Because changes can be made between Thursday checks and the post-race inspection. How many times did we see a team experiment with F-ducts last year? Sauber could well have introduced new bodywork before the race that was outside the rules. That’s why we have a post-race check: to make sure no-one clears scruitineering and then slips new, illegal parts through the race.

      1. So do the scruteneering while the cars are in Park Ferme and, if the problem is minor, give the teams time to sort it.

  14. Fantastic Result=>EPIC FAIL

  15. Unlucky Sergio, you can hardly blame the driver, he has to trust his engineers to set up of legal components.

  16. Regardless of the dq you can’t deny Peter has a good eye for young talent. I hope he can get a few points in Malaysia.

  17. At least this result will shut up all those who where saying he is just a pay driver and was there only because of Mexican money

  18. Brian Cox is driving in F1 now?

  19. This is wayyy out of date!!!! dream start to get disqualified from the race ?

    1. Obviously, it’s an old article…

  20. I’m not surprised he’s over the moon. Aside from the disqualification he was brilliant. Managing those tyres as well as he did was awesome to witness. There are gonna be some teams scratching their heads as to how the hell he did it.

  21. If Perez keep this up I see him as a potential replacement for Massa at Ferrari. The next F1 wonder kid who will be more willing to ride shotgun for Alonso and the potential to eventually take his spot as their number 1. Plus another massive sponsor to boot.

    1. Thats a good call there.

      I believe he is part of the Ferrari young driver programme (still).

      Fantastic way to make a debut. Just look at the confidence Kamui gained from those couple of races at Toyota.

      Decent race by Paul Di Resta as well.

  22. Mark my words, this kid is going places.

  23. Obviously a great day but didn’t end with smiles.

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