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GP Week : Issue 145
In 2011, Sergio Perez impressed the F1 world during his Albert Park debut, one-stopping on the punishing track and scoring points in his first grand prix. But the Mexican driver’s moment of glory was snatched away by the FIA when post-race scrutineering found that the rear-wings on both Saubers failed the specifications detailed in the Technical Regulations by a matter of millimetres. This year, Perez once again proved his mastery of the Pirellis by one-stopping his way around Albert Park for an eventual P8 finish, despite starting at the back of the grid for Sunday’s race following a five-place grid drop for a gearbox change after his unit fell apart in Q2. And were it not for Pastor Maldonado’s last lap crash, Perez would almost certainly have finished the race in seventh place, immediately behind team-mate Kamui Kobayashi. But such statistics do no justice to the struggles Perez faced on track. One-stopping at Albert Park is impressive, but to do so in a race that saw front wing damage, debris on track, and a Safety Car period is no mean feat. “After I had to start last on the grid because of changing the gear box I knew I had to try everything to gain positions right after the start,” Perez said. “I managed to get into 12th behind Kamui and touched his car while he had to avoid crashing into the Williams car in front of him. My front wing was then damaged and this was only one of the difficulties I had today during the race. “I also had to save tyres, also for some time fuel, and I had to fight to defend my position. It really was a tough race for me. Then on the very last lap Pastor crashed and I backed off because of the debris. But then Nico overtook me, our cars touched and I had to finish the race with tyres that were completely gone.” SERGIO PEREZ – smoother than Imperial Leather Points – Drivers: Button 25, Vettel 18, Hamilton 15, Webber 12, Alonso 10, Kobayashi 8, Raikkonen 6, Perez 4, Ricciardo 2, di Resta 1. Manufacturers: McLaren 40, Red Bull 30, Sauber-Ferrari 12, Ferrari 10, Lotus 6, STR 2, Force India 1 FORMULA 1 Round 1 AUSTRALIA POS # DRIVER TEAM LAPS TIME GRID 1 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 58 1:34:09.565 2 2 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 58 +2.1 secs 6 3 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 58 +4.0 secs 1 4 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 58 +4.5 secs 5 5 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 58 +21.5 secs 12 6 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 58 +36.7 secs 13 7 9 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 58 +38.0 secs 17 8 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 58 +39.4 secs 22 9 16 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 58 +39.5 secs 10 10 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 58 +39.7 secs 15 11 17 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 58 +39.8 secs 11 12 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 58 +57.6 secs 7 13 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 57 Accident 8 14 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 57 +1 Lap 20 15 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 53 +5 Laps 21 16 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 52 Acc. damage 14 Ret 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 46 Acc. damage 16 Ret 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 38 Suspension 18 Ret 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 34 Steering 19 Ret 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 10 Gearbox 4 Ret 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1 Accident 3 Ret 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 0 Acc. damage 9 DNS22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth DNS23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 25 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> AUSTRALIA