Sauber's Sergio Perez has vowed to come back 'even stronger' at the Nurburgring in two weeks time following his very encouraging seventh place finish at the F1 2011 British Grand Prix.
Perez, who qualified twelfth, had a poor start, but he battled his way back in his Ferrari-powered C30 and spent much of afternoon duelling with the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg.
Although he couldn't get ahead of the German he was still very happy to score points for the second time this season - a boost for the rookie who has struggled somewhat with his confidence following that sizeable shunt in Monte Carlo at the end of May that subsequently forced him to sit out the event in Montreal.
“I think it was a good race and a very good result for the team,” Perez reflected. “In the beginning the conditions were quite difficult, but we managed to stay out of trouble. The strategy was good and my pit stops were perfect.
“Unfortunately I couldn't overtake Nico. I was very close but he was too fast on the straights. Overall I am happy and now the difficult times are behind me. After the accident it took me time to get back into the rhythm of the season, and find the momentum I had before it. In two weeks' time I shall be even stronger.”
Sauber technical director James Key and team boss Peter Sauber were both impressed by Perez's performance.
“I am very happy with Sergio's seventh place, so congratulations to him,” said Sauber. “It was a difficult race for him, as for almost the whole distance he had to follow Nico Rosberg. He had more speed, but it was not enough to overtake.”
“I think Sergio did a great job of controlling a race which was tricky in many ways with the adverse conditions to begin with, and then just a single tyre change onto the dry tyres,” Key added.
“He was battling with Nico Rosberg for pretty much the whole race, but sadly be couldn't get through.”
Team-mate Kamui Kobayashi meanwhile failed to finish in the sister car following a turbulent afternoon, which included being ploughed into by Michael Schumacher, and picking up a stop-go penalty for an unsafe release in the pits when he almost crashed into the Williams of Rubens Barrichello. Kobayashi finally had to call it a day on lap 24 when his C30 suffered an oil leak.
“I think there is not a lot for me to say about the accident with Michael. We were not side by side, and he obviously hit the rear of my car," he recounted.
"From then on I had to drive with a damaged car. Then I had bad luck with the pit stop, was given the stop and go penalty, and finally had to stop because I was told on the radio there was an oil leak and I should pull off the track.
“It is a real shame because our overall performance was good this weekend. In today's race I was very unlucky.”