Well, that was quite a race wasn’t it? A dominant performance at the front by Lewis Hamilton and no fewer than three retirements from championship challengers made it far more like a race from another era altogether. Such has been the improvement in reliability, high-profile retirements aren’t quite the regular occurrence they once were. Bit of a shame, really.
Anyway, while the weekend saw a number of good drives (Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton, step forward), the real star was the young Mexican Sergio Perez.
Starting from twelfth on the grid to finish second is, you don’t need us to tell you, a fantastic achievement. It’s worth look at why – the strength of both Sauber and Sergio Perez rests on two main pillars:
1) The car and driver are both kind to their tyres. This means they can go deep into a race without the sort of drop-off in pace that would make doing one stop fewer than everyone else impossible.
2) No-one else is really doing it. The more teams and drivers undertake a strategy, the more difficulty you have in setting yourself apart. However, if you’re doing something completely different, it either works or it doesn’t. In Sauber’s cae, it seems to work more often than not.
It also helps that Sergio Perez is an excellent driver. In fact, it seems a shame that, as has been suggested, his most likely destination is to be second driver at Ferrari. It would be a real waste of a very promising talent to have to kowtow to Alonso’s title challenges. He deserves better.
Anyway, quite apart from anything else, he’s Badger’s Top Dog for the Italian Grand Prix. Enjoy it Sergio – you earned it.