Date: 26th April 2011 at 9:36am
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The Sauber team have enjoyed a competitive start to the 2011 Formula One championship.

Heading into the season with rookie driver Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi as team leader despite only having 21 races and one full season under his belt the team looked like it might struggle with a lack of experience.

But following a decent showing in winter testing, it was clear that Sauber were set to have a strong start to the season and that’s exactly what they had in Australia, until the race stewards intervened of course.

‘This season we wanted to have a car that would be both competitive and reliable from the outset – and we have clearly achieved this initial aim. If it hadn?t been for the oversight with the rear wings in Melbourne, our points total would be excellent; as it is, seven points is still okay. The important thing is that in each race we have been in a position to fight for world championship points on merit. Sauber team principal Peter Sauber told formula1.com.

On the track the team scored solid points in Melbourne with Perez finishing seventh and Kobayashi in eighth. Perez impressing in his debut race and also surprising many by completing the race with just one pit stop despite the higher degrading Pirelli tyres.

However their joy was short lived as they were both disqualified due to a technical infringement involving the uppermost element of the rear wing.

In Malaysia and China, again Sauber had a good showing. Kobayashi finished seventh in Sepang, Perez was forced to retire with an electrical fault after he struck a piece of debris on lap 24.

In China Kobayashi was again in the points finishing tenth, while Perez showed his first signs of inexperience by acting more like a bumper car driver than an F1 driver having incidents all afternoon.

But despite not yet scoring a point (legally anyway), Perez has impressed many in his first races of his F1 career.

‘I had high expectations of Sergio, and I have to say that so far he has actually exceeded these. He not only has the ability to look after his tyres extremely well, but also drives very consistently in the races. However, Sergio is also well aware that he is at the beginning of a long learning process, part of which will be incidents like the ones last Sunday in Shanghai. I?m in no doubt that Sergio will maximise his huge potential step by step.

Sauber will not be brining an upgrade package to Turkey like many of the other mid-pack teams on the F1 grid, instead their new box of bits and toys will be ready for Barcelona.