Sauber driver Sergio Perez put in another sensational drive today in the Italian Grand Prix, coming through to secure his third podium of the season – and his second runners-up spot of F1 2012.
Perez started from twelfth, and was one of the fewer runners to begin on the harder of the two Pirelli tyres. Despite a difficult first part to the race though, the Mexican made his two-stop strategy work and when he finally stopped on lap 29 for the medium compound tyres, he re-joined in eighth place and then began a fantastic charge through the field.
Indeed he fought his way by a number of the sports big names - including Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso - before eventually finishing up just 4.3 seconds behind race winner, Lewis Hamilton.
“This was a very enjoyable race for me. It was one of those where you have the pace and are the one to attack. I am very happy for the team which is working very hard. It is a really good team, I am proud of it,” Perez said.
“I didn't have an easy first stint with the hard tyres but it was certainly the right strategy. I was frequently in contact with the team on the radio because I was worried the tyres would suddenly drop and we would have to change our strategy. Also we were not quite sure how quickly they would warm up. However, it worked out fine, I could stay out as long as I needed to for our strategy.
“The second stint was then really maximum attack and I must say all of the drivers I overtook have been fair. They didn't leave me more room than they had to, but it was always enough. This is the way it should be. I am very pleased at having achieved my first European podium in Monza.”
Team-mate Kamui Kobayashi meanwhile had a more low-key afternoon, but still came through to finish in ninth and score two points. He started in eighth.
“First of all congratulations to Sergio - well done, mate! It is a great day for our team. I have nothing to complain about with my race, but for some reason I just didn't have the pace,” Kobayashi added.
“Obviously I raced on a different strategy as I had to start on the tyres I qualified with. For both compounds I admit I had a lack of experience as we hadn't managed to do long runs on Friday. I just had a normal race really, so there wasn't really anything special.”