A disappointing, expensive weekend for Sauber
28 May, 2012
May 28 (Apex) Monaco is proving to be a costly annual fixture for the Sauber team, as their weekend was again plagued by a stack of bent metal, with Sergio Perez wrecking his C31 during qualifying, while 24 hours later Kamui Kobayashi’s car was damaged in a turn one incident at Sainte Devote.
Kobayashi’s crash was spectacular as the Sauber launched into the air after bouncing off the McLaren of Jenson button as the pair tried to avoid the stricken Lotus of Romain Grosjean which moments earlier had stopped in the middle of the turn after colliding with Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes.
“I had a great start and was fighting with Sebastian Vettel, so maybe could have been just behind him. First Romain Grosjean went on the inside, but suddenly he came back on the outside. I tried to avoid him, but he didn’t brake, hit my rear tyres and damaged my suspension,” said Kobayashi.
He tried to resume his race but after a few laps was told to park it as F1 cars are ‘not designed to fly a metre off the ground and then crash land’.
“Maybe if I had had two wheels and not four I would have been fine!” joked the Japanese driver before adding, “It was too dangerous to continue to drive.“
In qualifying last year Perez was hospitalised after a huge shunt at the Harbour Chicane, and although this year there was no need for medical attention, the repair bill will be significant.
In Sunday’s race it was an early shower for Kobayashi, while Perez was involved in a number of skirmishes on his way to 11th place, despite a drive through penalty.
Team principal Peter Sauber saw the bright side, “Sergio not only did the fastest race lap, but for long periods of the race he was the fastest driver on the track. This clearly shows what we can achieve if everything goes right for us. Now it is up to the entire team to turn our opportunities into success.”
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