The Sauber F1 Team is very happy with its young team of drivers and has confirmed all three of them for the 2012 season: Kamui Kobayashi (24, Japan) and Sergio Pérez (21, Mexico) will be lining up for the Swiss team next year as well, while Esteban Gutièrrez (19, Mexico) remains on board as test and reserve driver.
Team Principal Peter Sauber notes: “We are very pleased with our drivers. 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 in the team. 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.”
About Pérez he has this to say: “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.”
The Team Principal is likewise impressed by the development of the youngest member of the team: “Esteban’s career is advancing in steady strides. After his commanding victory in GP3 it was a logical step for him to move up into GP2, where he has now taken his first win. He will then enter Formula One when he is ready for it. For us he has been a firm fixture of the team since 2010, and we will continue to support him on his way towards Formula One.”
What the drivers say
Kamui Kobayashi: “I’m very proud that I can drive another year for this team and I want to thank Peter Sauber and Monisha Kaltenborn for putting their faith in me and the guys for all their work. In 2010 we had a very difficult season and some tough times. We managed to overcome this because we are a strong team.”
Sergio Pérez: “I want to thank Peter and Monisha that they trust me. Of course it is very good to have continuity and this way I can intensively prepare with my race engineer for what will be my second Formula One season. But 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.”
Esteban Gutièrrez: “I feel very fortunate and grateful to be able to continue my relationship with Peter Sauber and all the people in the team. I have been working on my development with the help of the team’s advice and on my racing in GP2 and other series. So I look forward to increasing my skills in a very professional way so as to take the step into the highest level of motor sports with the necessary experience to keep up the same rhythm as in my career so far.”