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Perez sits out practice in India as Gutierrez gets a chance
Posted By: James Allen  |  26 Oct 2012   |  4:27 am GMT  |  15 comments

Sergio Perez will sit out the Friday morning practice session in India due to the after effects of a cold, although he is scheduled to drive the rest of the weekend.

Perez was unwell on Friday, but tweeted on Friday morning in Spanish “Thank you all x worrying, had a fever yesterday but today I am well prepared for the weekend! It was a team decision” – he later tweeted in English a slightly different message, “Thanks to all I’m ready to do the weekend after practice 1..The team decide not to do practice 1 with me, looking forward for a good weekend.”

Sauber’s announcement said simply,

“Due to the fact Sauber F1 Team race driver Sergio Pérez (Mexico, 22) is unwell, the Sauber F1 Team has decided to let its reserve driver Esteban Gutiérrez (Mexico, 21) jump into the car for the first free practice session ahead of the Indian Grand Prix on Friday. This should help Sergio’s speedy recovery so he is able to drive for the remainder of the weekend.”

It doesn’t really matter in the end whether Perez is well or unwell this morning, after all there is only a two and a half hour gap between the first and second sessions.

It makes sense for Sauber to capitalise on this opportunity to give 21 year old Gutierrez a run. He is in contention for Perez’ seat next season as Perez is leaving the team to join McLaren. Sauber’s Mexican backing from Carlos Slim and Telmex is set to stay with the team, but it would be desirable for Gutierrez to be in one of the race seats. Nico Hulkenberg is widely tipped to get the other Sauber seat, leaving Kobayashi on the sidelines.

Last year Sauber felt he wasn’t ready for F1, but after a second season in GP2 in which he won three races with the Lotus ART Team, Gutierrez has a great chance today to show what he can do.

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Tornillo Amarillo

Told you Gutierrez was coming, maybe this is just a last test to confirm the lineup with Hulk.

Latinos rules in F1!

Why not Koba as a test driver for Sauber?


Pick that bag up! Is it that heavy you have to wheel it around? Also, hey James Allen; is Kobayashi going to get a drive next year? If not Sauber, what about Force India?


Probably noticed in the coverage – but Brundle said he was very confident of getting a drive

Mark in Australia

Sad to see Koby go. But money talks, especially in F1.

I doubt there will be a seat for him elsewhere either.. Unfortunately…


Given how Gutierrez drove in GP2 this year I don’ think he’s ready for F1, too accident prone.


If Sauber prefer to get all their money at the start of the year from a pay driver, rather than getting it from two drivers who can race hard and fight for prize money… that’s a strategy every accountant in the world would applaud. I just hope they don’t expect to get any fan mail next year.

To let Kamui go because he doesn’t bring sponsorship money just shows how short-sighted and lacking in ambition Sauber F1 is. They really are content just to do enough to hover around the mid-field and collect the money from the new guys, and their track record proves it. Replacing Kamui with a guy who is there to pay the bills makes them a one driver team next year. Prost F1 did that back in the day… and see how that worked out for them. Sayonara Kamui and sayonara Sauber.


Just a question – what do you expect Sauber to aim to do? Overtake McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes, and Red Bull? Not a chance – Ferrari provide too much of their car to allow their customer to beat them on a regular basis, and frankly Sauber don’t have the funds to compete at that level. So, YES, Sauber do expect to “hover around the mid-field”, because they are not one of the big 5 or 6. They can hope to get a win or two, some podiums, and beat Force India and maybe Williams, barring a development miracle. And any miracles will take money…so hence the need for a pay driver. I hate to see KK go, but the economics are telling…


Seb must be hoping that Perez gives his cold to Webber:

“Webber says he won’t move over for Vettel” !


I highly doubt there is anything wrong with Perez; Sauber just wants to test Gutiérrez before making a final driver choice next year.


James, is the decision to put the Italian navy flags on the Ferrari’s causing a stir in India? It seems an odd thing to do – surely it wouldn’t go down well…




“Gutierrez has a great chance today to show what he can do”. The answer, apparently, is not much (apart from nearly binning it).


Any chance at all for Kamui to remain either at Sauber or in F1?


Kobayashi, we’ll miss you! What a shame that such an exciting driver has to miss out 🙁


bye bye kobayashi … it says it all …. u are an exicting driver no doubt…

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