F1 Sauber retain Kobayashi and Perez

The Sauber Formula One racing team will retain Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi and Mexican Sergio Perez in an unchanged line-up next year.

Updated: Jul 28, 2011, 22:45 PM IST

Hinwil: The Sauber Formula One racing team will retain Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi and Mexican Sergio Perez in an unchanged line-up next year.

The Swiss team confirmed the news on Thursday, after agreeing new contracts with the pair, on the eve of this weekend`s Hungarian Grand Prix.

Team chief Peter Sauber said: "Kamui has grown into his role extremely well this year. Though it is only his second full Formula One season, he is already taking on the responsibilities that naturally fall to the more experienced driver.

"We are delighted with him at both a sporting and a personal level. We had an option of working with him in 2012 and there was never any doubt that we would take it."
Perez already had a contract for 2012 after agreeing a multi-year deal before he signed.

Sauber said that the Mexican`s pace - and recovery from his big accident at the Monaco Grand Prix -- had shown he was right to have faith in him.

He said: "Sergio has achieved more than one could expect from a rookie. From the very first race he proved that he is capable of driving not only fast but consistently as well.

"And after the accident in Monaco he demonstrated that he can handle difficult situations too. From the outset we had already signed a contract with Sergio that went beyond 2011.

"With a rookie that always entails a certain risk, of course, but clearly it has paid off."

Perez said: "It is very good to have continuity and this way I can intensively prepare with my race engineer for what will be my second season.

"For now I`m concentrating on finishing this season on a high. The summer break will be very good for me because since my accident in Monaco it has been a busy time."

Sauber`s decision to retain both drivers signals that it is likely there will be no major driver moves this year.

Bureau Report