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Sauber not worrying about possibility of losing Perez
Sauber CEO Monisha Kaltenborn says her team is under no pressure to sure up its driver line-up for 2013 and she is currently satisfied with the performances of Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez.
After scoring two podiums in the opening 11 races of the season, Perez has been linked to a Ferrari drive next year as a possible replacement for Felipe Massa. As a customer of Ferrari engines there were suggestions that Perez might be released from his contract this year, but Kaltenborn told Formula1.com that her team is not under any pressure over the future of either of its drivers.
"We make our driver line-up for a whole season, so from that point of view there will be no changes. We are not worried. And we are in the middle of a season that hopefully will be a successful one for us - at least all indications point in that direction - and our drivers have to focus solely on this season. Regarding the future, we are not under pressure and I am laid back about it."
Sauber is currently sixth in the standings with 80 points, but Kaltenborn says it's worth remembering that both drivers are improving all the time.
"I would put on record that both show a good development curve. Never forget Kamui is in only his third season, and Sergio only his second. They have established a good communication line to their engineers and to the whole team, and are always very welcome in the factory as their input is held in high regard. Actually, my impression is that both like to come to Hinwil - to get a better picture of the 'birthplace' of their cars. That is really welcomed by the engineers as they can see that they want to be close to every development step that is made. I also think that both are behaving well. Of course tempers can sometimes run a little wild, but that's because they are young. So the interim report reads 'satisfactory'."
Kobayashi has 33 points to Perez's 47, but Kaltenborn said the Japanese driver had experienced a fair bit of bad luck.
"I am not sure if it is really the case that his performance is dipping against Sergio. I think that the results do not show the whole picture. Kamui has shown good performances, but yes, he was a bit struck by misfortune. Twice in qualifying there were some hiccups with the car - only his car - and on the other hand the very risky strategy Sergio was running on in Malaysia bore fruits and catapulted him into the spotlight. So I would say that some factors played for Sergio - and some simply didn't work out for Kamui. But as we still have half the season to go, Kamui can go out and copy Sergio."
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