Sauber team boss Peter Sauber has hailed Sergio Perez's performance in the Australian Grand Prix as "outstanding." The Mexican rookie put on a superb showing in Melbourne on his way to seventh place, although he and teammate Kamui Kobayashi were later disqualified for a technical infringement.
Perez was the only driver who managed to complete the race on a one-stop strategy, and Sauber conceded he was impressed by his performance.
"Yes, I am surprised," said Sauber. "My first impression was OK because we followed him the last season in GP2 and he did a good job and also during the preseason tests we were happy with him but in the race he was outstanding. Thirty-five laps with used soft tires – that is incredible."
Sauber admitted the team did not consider stopping just once before the race, as it didn't believe it was a possibility.
"It was never a decision – it was absolutely clear to do a second or third stop and we looked for a window. But then the times were so good and after 40 laps we reckoned maybe it is possible. The race engineer spoke with Sergio and he said, 'Yes, maybe it is possible to drive to the end.'"
Technical director James Key also praised Perez.
"Outstanding, for a rookie driver in first race. We felt he was quick anyway but I think to be faced to do 38 laps on a soft tire, which no one believed possible, was outstanding."