Sergio Perez has a cold, so Sauber slipped Esteban Gutierrez, their nominated third driver, into the car for the first practice session in India. There is, as yet, no suggestion that Perez will miss the race, but Guiterrez’s pace in the session was impressive. Kamui Kobayashi, the team’s regular driver, set a time of 1:29.802s during the 90 minute session. Guiterrez, having been dropped in at the deep end, recorded a best of 1:21.212s. That’s a pretty decent effort from the young Mexican, who is known to have desires on the departing Perez’s seat for 2013. It will be interesting to see how well he does should he drive in the second session or beyond.
Another youngster to impress this morning was Valterri Bottas. The young Finn has had several notable practice outings for Williams this season, and outpaced Pastor Maldonado this morning. Bottas is highly regarded at Williams – and within the sport – and the 23 year-old is surely a favourite for the second drive next year. His best time of the session was a competitive 1:29.691s. Robin Frijns is in the news again today, the Dutch rising star being linked to a long-term deal with Sauber. This is a sensible move by the Swiss team.