Sauber were quick to praise Pedro de la Rosa after the Spaniard made it through to Q2 in qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix.
De la Rosa received a late call on Friday to replace Sergio Perez after the young Mexican elected to withdraw from the weekend as he continued to suffer the aftereffects of his huge accident in qualifying in Monaco.
After limited time on track on Friday, de la Rosa then crashed in the latter stages of FP3 on Saturday morning but made it successfully through to the second stage of qualifying before securing 17th on the grid.
“It is obviously a very eventful time for me,” he said. “Yesterday morning I didn't expect to sit in a racing car, and this morning I actually didn't expect a lot from qualifying. It is not easy to familiarise yourself with the car and all the new buttons in such a short space of time. Of course, the crash I had this morning didn't help either. I lost the car and then also a bit of confidence goes.
“I am very happy the team managed to repair the car and I want to thank them. Anyway, every time I jump into the car it goes better. I'm quite pleased with the outcome of qualifying and I'm optimistic for the race. The Sauber C30 is always stronger in the race than in qualifying. I want to get points for the team as that is what I'm here for.”
De la Rosa's performance due praise from both team boss Peter Sauber – who insisted it was 'an excellent job' – and technical director James Key given his limited time in the car ahead of the session.
“For Pedro it was important to get some more laps in the car and learn a little bit more about both tyre compounds, as well as the car's behaviour, the systems on the car and the set-up changes we made for him overnight,” he said. “For Q1 we put him on two sets of super softs, because he didn't get a full run in the morning, and he had no feeling for the super soft tyre in terms of grip.
“He did a good job making it into Q2, where he ended just three tenths behind his team mate. A really good effort considering he hadn't driven in race conditions since last season. It was a very short call yesterday, and we thank him for all his efforts.”