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De la Rosa to stand in for Perez in Canada 10 Jun 2011

Pedro De La Rosa (ESP) at The Grand Evening.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Preparations, Montreal, Canada, Thursday, 9 June 2011 Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Preparations, Montreal, Canada, Thursday, 9 June 2011 Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber C30 crashes heavily at the harbour chicane in qualifying.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6,  Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 28 May 2011

Formula One veteran Pedro de la Rosa is to replace Sergio Perez at Sauber for the remainder of the Canadian Grand Prix weekend on safety grounds, after the Mexican rookie felt unwell following opening practice.

Perez crashed heavily two weeks ago in Monaco qualifying and was unable to participate in the Monte Carlo race. He spent two nights in hospital after suffering concussion and a bruised thigh, but safely passed the FIA medical to compete in Montreal this weekend.

“This development hit us by surprise, because Sergio underwent thorough medical checks, first in the hospital in Monaco, then in a hospital in Zurich, and finally, the FIA doctors gave him the green light this Thursday,” confirmed team boss Peter Sauber. “Nobody could have foreseen that he would feel unwell. Maybe we are being overly cautious, but when it’s about the health of our drivers we take zero risks.”

“Of course I wanted to drive and I had no doubt I was alright, but apparently this is unfortunately not the case,” commented Perez, who was 11th fastest after completing 27 laps in Friday morning’s opening practice. “I am deeply disappointed. I spoke to the team after the session and told them that I’m not a hundred percent fit. I only want to drive when I’m a hundred percent well. I need some more time to recover.”

De la Rosa, 40 and currently a McLaren test driver, raced for Sauber for most of 2010 before being dropped in favour of Nick Heidfeld. The Spaniard, a veteran of 84 Grand Prix starts, made his last competitive outing at September’s Italian race, where he finished 14th. His best Formula One result was a second place for McLaren at the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix.

With both McLaren and the Montreal stewards having agreed to Sauber’s last-minute driver-change request, De la Rosa is free to participate in Friday’s second practice, though it remains to be seen whether the team can make the necessary car changes in time to get him on track this afternoon.

“We want to thank Pedro de la Rosa and McLaren for helping us out in this situation,” added Sauber.

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