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3 Valtteri Bottas

Sauber deny 'Ferrari order' conspiracy

Monday 26th March 2012

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Sauber deny 'Ferrari order' conspiracy

Sauber deny 'Ferrari order' conspiracy

Peter Sauber has denied speculation that Sergio Perez was ordered to not attack Fernando Alonso for the victory in Sunday's Malaysian GP.

Perez was catching Alonso - some times by as much as a full second a lap - as the duo raced towards the chequered flag at the Sepang circuit.

With the gap cut to just 0.9s a message came over the Sauber radio telling Perez to "be careful, we need this position, we need this position."

Moments later, the 22-year-old ran wide after touching the kerb and lost ground to Alonso, falling behind by over five seconds.

Perez recovered to finish second, 2.2s behind Alonso.

Given that Sauber use Ferrari engines and that Perez, reportedly in line to replace Felipe Massa, is a member of the Ferrari Young Driver Academy, rumours of a conspiracy immediately started to make the rounds.

Sauber, though, insists nothing untoward took place on Sunday.

"He meant that we needed the result. It's a misunderstanding," said the team boss.

"It was because that behind us, all the midfield teams, our main competitors, scored points.

"So it was important we kept the result and not the position."

Pressed on whether Perez had been told to stay behind Alonso, Sauber said: "No. We told him 'be careful we need the result'."

Asked about whether there had been any talks with Ferrari, he added: "No. 100 percent no. 100 percent nothing.

"We had no discussion about Checo nor the position."

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