"What we meant was get the car home," she insisted. "It was important to us to get the result. There was nothing else to it. There was no instruction."
"No. One hundred per cent no. One hundred per cent nothing," said Peter Sauber, who was equally adamant when asked if there had been any thought of easing up on Ferrari in the final laps. "We had no discussion about Checo and we had no discussion about the position."
Added to the mix is the fact that Perez himself is a product of Ferrari's Driver Academy and is strongly tipped to be in line to replace Felipe Massa next year if the Brazilian departs Maranello at the end of his current contract - provided he doesn't sabotage his career prospects in the meantime, perhaps.
Domenicali had earlier even made a point of congratulating Perez and reminding him of his old ties with the prancing horse following the end of the races at Sepang: "I want to congratulate Sauber, who today secured their best ever result and congratulations also to Sergio Perez, a youngster from the Ferrari Driver Academy, who today confirmed his great talent.”
Sadly Perez' team mate Kamui Kobayashi had a leak in the brake system that compromised his race performance and ultimately led to his retirement on lap 47.
"For me personally, of course, it was a very disappointing race," admitted the Japanese driver. "Technically I struggled with the brakes and that was then also why I had to give up."
But Kobayashi can take heart that he is in the same Sauber car that put Perez on the podium at Malaysia.
"Our car is not far away from the top cars and a good crew and a driver can also make a difference in such conditions," Perez himself pointed out. "It is only our second race in 2012 and I think we have a great season ahead of us. I knew we had potential to fight today."