Sauber's managing director Monisha Kaltenborn reckons there is no risk in having signed Mexican Sergio Perez (LEFT) to race with the team next year.
Perez will join Kamui Kobayashi in the Swiss squad's lineup in 2011, after having finished as runner-up to Pastor Maldonado in this year's GP2 championship. The Mexican has yet to drive a Formula 1 car. Kaltenborn reckons, however, that having signed Perez is not a bigger risk than hiring Kobayashi, who had only taken part in two grands prix before this season.
"We don't see it as a risk. It's not a bigger risk than what we did taking Kamui Kobayashi," Kaltenborn told AUTOSPORT. "We've been following him, of course, and achieving second position in GP2 is quite a good result so we are convinced that he has the talent.
"It's very difficult to judge the performance in GP2, but that's a feeling we have and I think that the team has a track record for not having a bad feeling for drivers who are not really that well known. So we don't think it's really a risk.
Kaltenborn is also confident that Kobayashi, who has put on some impressive performances this year, will assume the role of senior driver in the team, despite his lack of experience.
"Kamui is no longer a rookie because he has one year. He has shown a remarkable performance this year. He has gained his experience, which he will be able to utilize the following year," she said. "His performance is overall impressive and he could position himself quite well against most of the experienced drivers. We're confident about that."
Although Perez's deal with Sauber was announced in conjunction with a new deal with Telmex, Kaltenborn said the commercial agreement was not influential in deciding to hire the Mexican.
"Not for the decision. We should clarify here that between Sergio and Telmex is simply a natural link. He has been in Escuderia Telmex from a very early stage. It's a similar program to what Red Bull has, it's just not so well known. It's not any different to that.
"They just belong together, you don't get one without the other, so that question never arose. There is a commercial side to it, but that's because they have a natural link and he has always been supported by them."