The conspiracy theorists had a field day at Sepang when Sergio Perez’s strong push for victory went awry.
At about the same time as the young Mexican was told on the radio by his Sauber engineer that “we need the position”, his charge to catch Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso ended with a minor mistake. Ferrari is the small Swiss team Sauber’s engine supplier, and the two teams also often align on political matters.
“No I don’t think Perez’s mistake was intentional,” former driver and British commentator Martin Brundle wrote on Sky.
But Perez is also the cream of Ferrari’s development driver programme, and linked at present with the struggling Felipe Massa’s race seat. So he was told to fall in line behind Alonso?
“No,” boss Peter Sauber said emphatically. “100 per cent no, 100pc nothing.”