Pedro de la Rosa, Sauber, Montreal, 2011

Pedro de la Rosa takes Sergio Perez’s place in Canada

2011 Canadian Grand Prix

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Pedro de la Rosa, Sauber, Montreal, 2011
Pedro de la Rosa, Sauber, Montreal, 2011

Pedro de la Rosa will take Sergio Perez’s place at Sauber for the rest of the Canadian Grand Prix weekend.

Perez was passed fit to race yesterday, following his crash in Monaco. But he reported he was feeling unwell after the first practice session this morning.

He said: “Of course I wanted to drive and I had no doubt I was alright. But apparently this is unfortunately not the case.

“I am deeply disappointed. I spoke to the team after the session and told them that I?m not a hundred per cent fit. I only want to drive when I?m a hundred per cent well. I need some more time to recover.”

Team principal Peter Sauber said: “This development hit us by surprise, because Sergio underwent thorough medical checks, first in the hospital in Monaco, then in a hospital in Z???rich, and finally, the FIA doctors gave him the green light this Thursday in Montreal.

“Nobody could have foreseen that he would feel unwell. Maybe we are being overly cautious, but when it?s about the health of our drivers we take zero risks.”

De la Rosa started 14 races for Sauber last year before being replaced by Nick Heidfeld.

He is one of McLaren’s test and reserve drivers.

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Keith Collantine
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47 comments on “Pedro de la Rosa takes Sergio Perez’s place in Canada”

  1. Awww, nonetheless good luck to de la Rosa.

    1. What the hell?

  2. Good luck to PDR, get well soon to Checo. I was kind of hoping we might see “the chosen one” in his role as reserve driver this weekend, but I guess he must not be on site.

    1. Yeah exactly. Kudos for Checo to owning up to not being up to it right now.

      Understood Withmarsh was over at Sauber after lunch, spoke with Peter, went back to his own garage, plucked out Pedro and returned with him.
      Thats the spirit of cooperation for the teams!

      1. That is good :)

        1. Very good indeed! That may have just made my day! :D

  3. SennaNmbr1 (@)
    10th June 2011, 19:01

    I hope this doesn’t affect him for too long.

  4. yea i hope he gets well soon. alot of potential talent and good driver.

  5. De la Rosa has a contract, but so do Ricciardo and Hulkenberg. Probably the choice was done because de la Rosa was given permission and the others not, or they chose him because of his experience with the team last year; otherwise why choose someone who was substituted for lack of performances last year?

    1. I guess it is also that they know him from last year, and he unlike Hulkenberg and Ricciardo, he is not really in the running for further races at the team he is under contract with. Since this should only be for a short time (hopefully just today, maybe the weekend, unlikely to be more than that), that seems a sensible choice.

    2. Looking back, his performance wasn’t so bad, certainly no worse than Heidfeld’s

    3. Arguably Hulkenberg performed worse than de la Rosa last year. Ricciardo is an unknown quantity. At least with DLR, they know what they’re getting and he knows the team as well.

      1. Force India and Toro Rosso are behind Sauber in the WDC, so they wouldn’t loan their reserves to thier closest competition.

        1. They had his seat that is pretty key.

          He had driven the previous year, he’s probably the best test driver ever and one of the best reserves on the grid. Mclaren love pedro and i have no doubt that their good relationship makes it an easy thing for them to let him go race for a weekend. Knowing full well he will be nothing but a profesional. At the end of the day it keeps him sharp to so it really is wins all round. Except poor checo.

          Dela rosa did do well last year he had about 5 engine blow out’s in the first 10 races lol. All the ferrari engines had that problem but by the time it was fixed he was already given the boot. Heidfeld did no better and peter sauber said over and over the only reason at all for the swap was because they wanted to assess kamui’s speed with heidfeld. Who had been with sauber for about 18,000 seasons previously and was known to the team like their own back garden.

          Good luck to the spanish sensation!

  6. It’s sad, we were soon brought to believe he was fit and healthy, and now after one session he withdraws. This is worrying as two weeks have passed, and I wish Checo all the best and a quick recovery.

  7. Reading his interview, I’m led to believe it’s not physical pain, but I could be wrong.

    1. Was wondering that too, it would be very worrying if all the medic checks missed something.

      1. Actually is more worrying if it’s psychological. That could very well be the end of a driver or at least the end of his ability to race fast.

        1. Maybe he has a headache when driving in fast corners.

  8. Well, it’s sad for Perez really, hope he’s completely fit in time for Valencia. But I am not happy about this for another reason: I mean, De La Rosa? Really? Nothing against the guy, good luck to him, but the choice is so boring. Couldn’t Sauber take somebody more interesting? It’s not like there is no choice, guys.

  9. A surprising development, first, because Perez had been passed fit by the FIA, and second that Sauber didn’t have their official reserve driver (Esteban Gutierrez) with them and apparently hadn’t made contingency arrangements in case Perez wasn’t able to drive.

    1. Where is Gutierrez, for that matter?

      1. June 1, 2011

        Monterrey, Mexico – Mexican driver Esteban Gutierrez returned to Monterrey to spend a few days with his family and to continue training towards the next event of the GP2 Series in Valencia, Spain. Besides working on improving the physical condition; Esteban will dedicate some time to study to keep up with school.

        Back to the classroom then!

        1. Just read he might have been doing a history exam back home! Historical opportunity missed then by Guttierez it is.

      2. He is now sitting somewhere probalby feeling gutted and badly done by the team, if his tweets are anything to go by.

        Understandably so, this might have been his debute

    2. Yeah, you’d think they’d have had him in town on the off chance that this happened. Would’ve been great to see him have his day ala Vettel 2007.

      1. Yeah but sergio was given every check in the book Thrice! He was checked over by two extremely well rated hospitals and the fia. As Fixy alluded to it’s not physical it’s obviously something mentaly wrong and you wouldn’t nessicerily know that till you’re back in the car.

        What ever the case hope he recovers properly.

    3. I think they had some contingency plan in place as they had DLRs old seat in Canada. Last thing you want is a rookie who’s never drivem the car in a(challenging) circuit he’s never driven before

  10. Good on Perez that he put his own health ahead of his desire to race. He’d be best placed to know if he’s able to drive – modern medical checks aren’t a 100% surefire guarantee and it’s always difficult for an ultra-competitive F1 driver to play it safe and sit out rather than bearing with the pain/discomfort throughout a race weekend.

    After his major accident in Monaco, I don’t think anyone would begrudge him skipping this weekend’s GP as a precautionary measure. Life’s too precious for that.

  11. A shame for Perez but always exciting to see something out of the ordinary!

  12. That’s a shame.

    I will say that concussions, even minor, can be tricky things to recover from.
    That’s from personal experience – I recovered quickly from what was judged a concussion from a head-on collision in a soccer match. The guy I hit heads with never did recover to full health, regardless that we both had the same diagnosis and treatment for several weeks afterward.

    I do really hope Sergio can fully recover to his previous abilities before the season is out.

    1. I suffered from post concussion syndrome for several weeks after a severe blow to the head. It isn’t noticeable physically, apart from migraines, but myself i knew something wasn’t right.

      I put things in random places, went to the wrong places, lost things, forgot names. Severe headaches / migraines. I took my son to the wrong school one morning! I wouldn’t like to think someone with PCS was racing, it could be dangerous to themselves and everyone around them.

      Fair play for admitting it, despite the desire to race.

  13. Fair play to Perez, I’m not sure too many drivers would have admitted not being up to it!

  14. Gutierrez isn’t happy. This via Twitter:

    “It’s a shame to hear about Montreal, hope “Checo” gets better, but I never received indication to prevent this situation. I was ready..”!/EstebanGtz/status/79264821891178496

    1. He’s not competitive in GP2, he has just raced three times, how could he be competitive in F1? Maybe Bianchi, test driver for Ferrari (who give engines to Sauber), who is in his second GP2 season, and is stronger than his team mate Gutierrez, would have been better still.

      1. But why have someone as a reserve driver if you don’t think they’re ready?

        1. He can test the car in winter and improve, but preferably the team would want an experienced driver for a complete weekend.

    2. Can’t blame him, and frankly I’m surprised at the oversight on the team’s part, not having a contingency in place. If ever a driver was likely to have to bow out and the last minute it would be one who’d have a massive shunt with concussion at the previous event.

    3. Gutierrez should have more patience. If he had had to step into that Sauber this weekend, if he hadn’t performed well it could have had an effect on the rest of his career. He’s not ready for F1 yet.

  15. maxthecat12
    10th June 2011, 20:53

    I have a feeling this is more about the mind than the body. It’s possible he’ll never be as fast again, some drivers just get spooked by a crash. Franchitti spent a year in NASCAR after 2 huge Indy crashes, he lost it too for a while and still seems to drive within himself now.

  16. Sounds like Sauber had planned ahead for this contingency which was why they had his seat on hand this weekend:

    1. Yeah, they might have given Pedro a call in the last week, just to be sure.
      After all, Perez had the last FIA check only on Thurday, so had they not cleared him Sauber would have needed a replacement anyhow.

  17. If you go to Sauber’s website under the “Drivers” section you’ll see 3 names:
    Kamui, Sergio and Esteban… I like Pedro but… They should’ve put Esteban in a plane inmediately!… strange move.

  18. Good luck for him but why didn’t they replace Perez with another Mexican test driver Esteban Gutierrez. He showed some good pace during the testing session,yes Pedro have the experience but it’s opportunity like this that will help this young driver to show their talent.

    1. or kill his career. He is not ready.

  19. Mclaren suit in Ferrari engined car.

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