Pedro de la Rosa Replaces Unwell Perez for Canadian Grand Prix

Sergio Perez will miss the rest of the Canadian Grand Prix weekend after feeling unwell during the first practice session today in Montreal. McLaren reserve driver Pedro de la Rosa returns to the Sauber team to race in place of the Mexican.

The illness Perez experienced during Free Practice 1 – which he finished in P11 – could be a consequence of the accident he suffered in qualifying at the Monaco Grand Prix a fortnight ago, and so the team have rested him for this race on safety grounds.

”This development hit us by surprise, because Sergio underwent thorough medical checks, first in the hospital in Monaco, then in a hospital in Zürich, and finally, the FIA doctors gave him the green light this Thursday in Montreal,” remarked Peter Sauber, the eponymous team principal. “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.”

Perez said that he is ‘deeply disappointed’ with the situation, but concedes that he needs more time to recover from his Monaco accident. “Of course I wanted to drive and I had no doubt I was alright,” he said. “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.”

De la Rosa drove fourteen races for Sauber last season, and rejoins former team-mate Kamui Kobayashi at the team this weekend after McLaren agreed to loan Sauber the 40-year-old Spaniard. “We want to thank Pedro de la Rosa and McLaren for helping us out in this situation,” Peter Sauber added.