Sergio Perez sat out the first practice session in India on Friday morning as he recovers from a heavy cold.
Sauber’s reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez, another Telmex-backed Mexican who is tipped to replace his McLaren-bound countryman in 2013, stepped in for the 90-minute session.
“This should help Sergio’s speedy recovery so he is able to drive for the remainder of the weekend,” the Swiss team said in a media statement.
Perez was seen chatting and smiling with Gutierrez in the Sauber pit garage on Friday morning. The team has not decided if Perez will return to his car in the afternoon.