Sauber's Sergio Perez produced one of his trademark climbs through the field in the European Grand Prix, moving up from 15th on the grid to claim two points for ninth place.
The Sauber C31 is renowned for being kind to its tyres, and it has become a regular feature of F1 2012 to see the young Mexican rise through the field after an uninspiring qualifying to claim points. The race at Valencia was different, however, in that it owed partly to problems suffered by others, and was definitely less impressive than his rise to third two weeks ago in Canada.
Like most, Perez opted for a two-stop strategy, with two mammoth stints on the soft tyres after a brief run on the mediums at the beginning of the race. For once he seemed to suffer more than most with degradation, dropping outside the points briefly before the Pastor Maldonado/Lewis Hamilton incident, though he ran as high as seventh before succumbing to the fresher rubber on Michael Schumacher's Mercedes and Mark Webber's Red Bull.
Despite though, that he was still able to look on the bright side of two hard earned points after having been comfortably out-qualified by team-mate Kamui Kobayashi.
“It was a difficult race today. We risked quite a lot with our strategy and in the end the tyre degradation was huge,” he said.
“You can say two points are not a bad result if you've came from 15th on the grid, but the most important thing now is to improve our qualifying performance. I was 15th on the grid for the second consecutive race and there is a lot more to achieve if I could only start further up the grid,” he concluded.
by Philip Barclay