The Sauber team had entered Silverstone in high spirits – believing that the high speed nature of the track would suit their car. But the Swiss team came away from the British Grand Prix after suffering a disappointing day.
It had for a time looked positive for Sergio Perez – who showed encouraging speed in the early stages of the race and was for a time battling in the points before his first pit stop. It all came to an end only a few corners later however, as he tangled with Maldonado and retired on the spot.
The furious Mexican later lambasted Maldonado for the incident. “I am very upset as my weekend has been ruined. I braked later than Pastor Maldonado, he didn't give me any room at all and just came into me. In my view it was not a racing incident. We all fight very hard, but give each other room. It is a shame because my car was really going very well. I had moved up from 15th to seventh before my pit stop and so was confident of scoring points,” he said.
Meanwhile Japanese team mate Kamui Kobayashi was unlucky to miss out on points and finished eleventh. However, his race was ruined when he overshot his pit box and mowed down several crew members. Despite the nasty looking incident, no-one sustained major injuries.
“First of all the accident at the pit stop was my fault and I want to apologise to the team. Of course I had to push hard for points, but without doubt I braked too late in the pit lane. The front wheels locked, I couldn't control the car, and this is how I overshot the pit box.”
“I am terribly sorry this happened, and I hope the three mechanics I hit get well soon. Up to this happening my race was good. I had improved from seventeenth on the grid to a top ten position, and was hoping for points,” said the contrite driver.
Peter Sauber paid tribute to the team's mechanics. “I am obviously hoping our three mechanics make a speedy recovery from their injuries and are fully fit again very soon.”
“Up until Kamui's second pit stop, during which he lost fifteen seconds, he had a very good chance of scoring points. Sergio had improved from fifteenth on the grid to make it into the points, and it is not for the first time we have seen him do this. We were looking forward to an exciting race, with good results possible for us. The accident between Sergio and Pastor Maldonado will be investigated by the FIA, but whatever happens it was the end of Sergio's race,” he added.
The FIA later found Maldonado guilty for his part in the incident and have subsequently fined the Venezuelan driver.