Perez needs new chassis after Sepang smash

Tue, 12 April 2011, 10:01

Apr.12 (GMM) Sauber rookie Sergio Perez will have a brand new C30 at his disposal in China after his original car was heavily damaged in Malaysia.

There is only a few days between the Sepang race and opening practice this Friday in Shanghai, but Mexican Perez’s ‘Chassis 01’ is currently en route from Kuala Lumpur to Hinwil.

He had to retire in Malaysia when heavy ballast – reportedly weighing 6 kilograms – fell off Sebastien Buemi’s Toro Rosso and struck the similarly Ferrari-powered Sauber.

“The chassis looks pretty bad,” confirmed team manager Beat Zehnder to Blick newspaper. “So far we’ve only been unable to repair one chassis — it was Frenzten’s after he crashed in Monaco in 1994!” he revealed.

Zehnder said the loose ballast from Buemi’s car was like “a bomb” hitting the C30, which raises obvious safety implications. “We have informed the FIA,” he said.

He told Auto Motor und Sport: “Now there’s a hole in the chassis. For China, Sergio will have a new one.”

The chassis write-off and Melbourne disqualification aside, the C30 has stunned the F1 community with its kindness to the Pirelli tyres.

Perez was the only runner to do a one-stopper in Australia, while Kamui Kobayashi drove through the harsher degradation at Sepang last Sunday with just two stops.

“The car seems to be gentle on the tyres. I’m sure it can bring us many good results,” enthused Zehnder.

The C30 will have a Red Bull-style exhaust fitted for May’s Turkish grand prix, while Williams is set to test a similar innovation this weekend in China.

Blick said the laptime advantage for Sauber is estimated at five tenths per lap.

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