Sauber have done a superb job of maximising their opportunities this year. In both Malaysia and Canada Sergio Perez capitalised on circumstances to claim a podium finish. The wet weather in Sepang and excessive tyre wear in Montreal put Perez in position to impress and the Mexican was stunning in both races.
A small mistake in Malaysia, when Perez slipped off track in one of the fast left-right chicanes, cost him the chance of battling Alonso for the win but for Sauber these podiums are priceless. Having struggled to raise finance following BMW’s withdrawal from racing it was crucial that the team started the season strongly.
Both Perez and Kamui Kobayashi have been closely matched for much of the season, the Mexican holding the slender lead in qualifying by just one race. In race trim both drivers have been able to take advantage of a car that conserves its tyres very well and have scored 80 points so far in the season showing just how much progress the team has made.
Moving forward for the rest of the campaign the team need to start progressing into the final qualifying session if they are to continue progressing. With the team able to generally make one stop less than most teams and run longer on the softer option tyre they are well placed to score points for the rest of the year.
Even with all the positives however there will be a nagging feeling in Switzerland that Sauber could have won the race in Malaysia. A slightly cautious strategy made it difficult for Perez but overall the team has made great progress this year and have solidified their position on the grid.
With Peter Sauber having already started to cement his succession plans for the team their future looks bright and stable. Given their recent history following BMW’s withdrawal that is perhaps the most important thing for Sauber.