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F1: Kobayashi And Perez To Race For Sauber In 2012

From Left: Peter Sauber – Team Principal, Esteban Gutierrez, Sergio Perez, Kamui Kobayashi and Monisha Kaltenborn – CEO of Team Sauber.

Sauber F1 team confirmed on Thursday that they would continue to race with Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez in the 2012 Formula 1 season. This announcement comes as no surprise since both the drivers had performed exceptionally well in the first half of the 2011 F1 season. The Swiss team also confirmed that their current reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez will also continue in the forthcoming season.

Sauber-2011-f1-2

The team principal of the Sauber F1 team was quoted saying,

“We are very pleased with our drivers. Kamui has grown into his role extremely well this year. Though it is only his second full Formula One season, he is already taking on the responsibilities that naturally fall to the more experienced driver in the team. We are delighted with him at both a sporting and a personal level. We had an option of working with him in 2012 and there was never any doubt that we would take it.Sergio has achieved more than one could expect from a rookie. From the very first race he proved that he is capable of driving not only fast but consistently as well. And after the accident in Monaco he demonstrated that he can handle difficult situations too. From the outset we had already signed a contract with Sergio that went beyond 2011. With a rookie that always entails a certain risk, of course, but clearly it has paid off.”

Kamui Kobayashi

Kamui Kobayashi joined the Sauber team in 2010 after his short stint at Toyota as a replacement for the injured Timo Glock in 2009. Since then, the Japanese driver has impressed one and all with his consistent performances which have been improving throughout the last two seasons. His aggressive driving and overtaking ability have been much helpful in garnering more attention towards him. He has scored 27 points this season till the German Grand Prix which include seven top 10 finishes. His best finish this season came at the Monaco Grand Prix where he ended the race at 5th position.

The 24-year old Kamui Kobayashi, who happens to be the most experienced driver in the Sauber team, acknowledged the team’s faith in him by saying,

“I’m very proud that I can drive another year for this team and I want to thank Peter Sauber and Monisha Kaltenborn for putting their faith in me and the guys for all their work. In 2010 we had a very difficult season and some tough times. We managed to overcome this because we are a strong team.”

Sergio Perez

Kobayashi’s Mexican teammate Sergio Perez began the 2011 season as a newbie but has shown flashes of brilliance in the short tenure. In his first race as a F1 driver, Sergio Perez ended up at 7th position but was disqualified, along with Kobayashi, by the stewards on certain technical grounds. The 21 year old scored his first points at the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona when he finished at ninth position. His best finish so far has been in his career has been the seventh position at the British Grand Prix. He missed the Monaco and Canadian races because of the injuries sustained by him due to a horrific crash at the end of the tunnel during qualifying at Monaco. He has scored 8 points in the 2011 season.

Sergio Perez was quoted saying,

“I want to thank Peter and Monisha that they trust me. Of course it is very good to have continuity and this way I can intensively prepare with my race engineer for what will be my second Formula One season. But for now I’m concentrating on finishing this season on a high. The summer break will be very good for me because since my accident in Monaco it has been a busy time.”

Fellow Mexican Esteban Gutierrez, the reserve driver for Sauber F1, who is just 19 years old and is competing in the GP2 championship this year was overwhelmed by the news and expressed his delight.

Esteban Gutierrez – The 19 year old reserve driver for Team Sauber

“I feel very fortunate and grateful to be able to continue my relationship with Peter and all the people in the team,” he added. “I have been working on my development with the help of the team’s advice and on my racing in GP2 and other series. So I look forward to increasing my skills in a very professional way so as to take the step into the highest level of motor sports with the necessary experience to keep up the same rhythm as in my career so far.”

Let’s hope that the dream run for this Sauber trio continues even in the 2012 season.

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