Sauber's Sergio Perez claimed his very first F1 points' finish today in the Spanish Grand Prix.
The GP2 graduate was delighted to finally get off the mark, especially after the disappointment of Australia, when he was stripped of his seventh place post-race due to a technical infringement.
The 21-year-old started twelfth for the fifth round in the championship, but did enough to come through the field and eventually notch up two championship points, finishing ninth overall - one place ahead of his more experienced team-mate, Kamui Kobayashi.
“It was a tough race today and a hard fight for points. I'm really happy we made it. My first points in F1 are obviously something special for me, and it is good for the team that Kamui also scored,” Perez reflected.
“The team had a very good race strategy and did a perfect job at the pit stops. I feel that for me today is a turning point in this season. We will continue well [now] and score more points.”
Kobayashi meanwhile was also pretty pleased to score and given he had to make an early stop due to a puncture, he made a good recovery.
“I lost a lot of time on lap one today. After the start I was pushed into the gravel and then another car touched me, which resulted in a left rear puncture,” he explained. “I had to pit and was relegated to last, which of course cost us a very good set of the soft tyres.
“I had to do quite a long stint on the harder tyres, which was not easy, but overall the race pace was okay. I'm happy to have scored for the fourth time in a row, and think we are going in the right direction.”
“It is not easy in this very strong field to get points if you start 12th and 14th,” summarised team principal Peter Sauber. “Despite a puncture on Kamui's car though, thanks to a good strategy we managed to get both cars into the top ten.
“Congratulations to Sergio for his first championship points, as after he lost those from Melbourne he has had to wait a while. Kamui has shown another good fight back from the tail end of the field.
“I am very happy the new aero package has had the effect that the gap to the top teams did not grow and the gap to those behind did not shrink. I want to thank everyone in Hinwil.”