Having marked the team's best start to an F1 season in three years by finishing an excellent seventh and eighth on-the-road respectively in the curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne today, Sauber duo Sergio Pérez and Kamui Kobayashi have been disqualified from the results over a technical infringement.
The Swiss-based outfit's young pairing had tallied ten points between them following an impressive performance Down Under – particularly so from F1 rookie Pérez, who incredibly managed to complete the entire grand prix distance with just a single tyre change – but a subsequent post-race scrutineering check deemed that the rear dimensions of their C30 cars were illegal.
The upper rear wing was found by FIA stewards to be in contravention of the rule stipulating that 'no part of this section in contact with the external air stream may have a local concave radius of curvature smaller than 100mm'. The cars failed to abide by either Article 3.10.1 or Article 3.10.2 of the sport's technical regulations, and thus were removed from the final classification.
“This is a very surprising and disappointing result,” commented Sauber technical director James Key. “It appears that there is a question over the top surface of the uppermost rear wing element; this area is not the working surface of the component, and therefore is relatively unimportant to its function. Certainly, this has not led to any performance advantage.
“We are checking the design of the parts now to better understand the situation, and we intend to appeal the decision made by the stewards.”
As things stand, however, Ferrari's Felipe Massa is elevated to seventh, Scuderia Toro Rosso's Sébastien Buemi to eighth and the Force Indias of Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta to ninth and tenth, meaning the Scot scores a point on his own grand prix bow. FIF1's own petition to the FIA that Buemi went off the circuit in order to pass Sutil was rejected.
For the amended result, click here
To see the updated points table, click here