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Sauber win podium place in Malaysian Grand Prix

Swiss Formula 1 team Sauber have secured their first podium position since 2008 after driver Sergio Perez finished second in the season’s Malaysian Grand Prix.

This content was published on March 25, 2012 - 13:34
swissinfo.ch and agencies

Perez, Sauber’s Mexican rookie driver in 2011, came in after Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and ahead of McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, who started on pole position.

Heavy rain stopped the race for just under an hour in the eighth lap at the track in Sepang near Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.

Perez had good pace throughout the race, sticking close to Alonso when the Spaniard took the lead in the latter half of the race. He came close to overtaking Alonso before running off the track with six laps to go, giving Ferrari enough of a gap to secure the lead.

It was the first Formula 1 podium for the 22-year-old Perez, whose 2011 season saw him injured in the Monaco Grand Prix.

It was the best finish for the Sauber team since their relaunch in 2009 under founder Peter Sauber. Back in 2008 BMW Sauber had their best year on record, notching up 11 podium places and a third place in the constructor’s championships.

But the next year their luck then ran out, with majority owners BMW pulling out of Formula 1 and Peter Sauber deciding to buy the Hinwil-based team back from BMW. Ferrrari was brought in as the engine partner.    

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