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De la Rosa first in line

ESPNF1 Staff
June 16, 2011 « Red Bull inspiration for Fernandes | »
Pedro de la Rosa was required to drive in Canada and finished 12th © Sutton Images

Pedro de la Rosa would be the man Sauber turn to if Sergio Perez is unfit to race in the European Grand Prix.

De la Rosa was a last minute replacement for Perez in Canada after Perez felt unwell following his heavy accident during qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix. Should Perez need to sit out the next race in Valencia then Sauber would again call on de la Rosa, as technical director James Key said "He did a great job for us."

Team principal Peter Sauber, however, said he didn't foresee a scenario where Perez would need to be replaced.

"I don't think about that," Sauber said. "For me, it is clear that Sergio can drive."

That view was backed up by Sauber's managing director Monisha Kaltenborn, who told motorsport-total.com "He is doing very well. We see no reason why he shouldn't drive in Valencia."

Sauber also defended his decision not to call upon reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez in Canada, saying it was too early to rush him in to a Formula One car.

"I understand this question, but if these people think a little bit it is absolutely clear," Sauber said. "We are responsible for him, and have had a contract with him for a couple of years. It is very important to bring him slowly into F1. It would be completely wrong to put him in the car [in Canada] if there was the possibility - it makes absolutely no sense. It is important that he can concentrate on GP2, which is not easy, and to make progress there."