Perez picks up grid penalty
Sauber confirm they have had to change the gearbox in Sergio Perez's C31, meaning the Mexican picks up the mandatory five-place grid penalty.
Last Updated: 17/03/12 11:51am
Sergio Perez is set to start at the back of the grid for Sunday's season-opening Australian Grand Prix after picking up a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.
The Sauber driver was forced onto the sidelines during the second stage of qualifying after a problem with the gearbox in his C31 struck, consigning him to 17th place on the grid.
On Saturday evening in Melbourne the Swiss team confirmed via Twitter that the unit now needed to be changed overnight, triggering the mandatory five-place penalty.
Perez's demotion therefore promotes by one place respectively Kimi Raikkonen, Heikki Kovalainen, Vitaly Petrov, Timo Glock and Charles Pic and leaves him 22nd and last on the grid after the two HRTs were barred from entering the race in wake of failing to make the 107% cut in Q1.
Speaking earlier, Perez, who had gone fifth fastest in the first knockout phase, said: "We made some set-up changes to the car today and in Q1 I was busy adapting my driving style a bit.
"In Q2 I knew exactly what to do but then I could not shift anymore because of a gearbox problem. It is a true shame as there was a lot more to come from the car and from myself."