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Perez to miss Monaco as F1 muses lucky escape UPDATE
Peter Sauber and his fast Mexican driver Sergio Perez
(GMM)  Sergio Perez will spend Sunday in hospital rather than on the streets of Monaco for the prestigious grand prix.

The Mexican rookie crashed heavily during qualifying on Saturday and was diagnosed at the local Princess Grace with concussion and a sprained thigh.

"His first words were 'I'm ok to race tomorrow'," revealed team manager Beat Zehnder.

FIA medical staff, as well as president Jean Todt, visited the Sauber driver late on Saturday.

"Perez will remain in hospital overnight and tomorrow (and) will not drive in the Monaco grand prix," confirmed FIA head of communications Matteo Bonciani.

The 21-year-old and F1 in general was on Saturday thanking its lucky stars, particularly because some drivers - including Nick Heidfeld - pleaded with Charlie Whiting after Nico Rosberg's near-identical morning crash to make immediate changes to the run-off at the tunnel chicane.

"It was very lucky that they pulled the sleeping policemen (curbs) because I think Sergio could have even had a nastier accident with his car potentially not having the right impact into the side," agreed Mark Webber.

Fingers were being pointed not only at a bump under braking for the Nouvelle chicane that might be worse this year than before, and the barrier division between the track and the escape road, but also the current configuration of the cars.

"For some reason it seems to be more of an issue this year because of the blown diffuser systems that a lot of us have," said Jenson Button, referring to the place at which he also crashed in a near identical crash eight years ago.

05/28/11 After Sergio Perez’s heavy accident in the final minutes of qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix, of course, the relief that the 21-year-old Mexican didn’t suffer any serious injuries is the overriding emotion inside the Sauber F1 Team. He was taken to the Hospital Princesse Grace in Monaco where he underwent an extensive examination. The medical staff informed the Sauber F1 Team that he escaped the shunt with concussion and a bruised thigh. Perez will remain in hospital at least overnight and will definitely not start the race on Sunday.

Until the accident Perez had shown his strongest qualifying performance so far in what is his first Formula One season. He made it into Q3, the qualifying session for the top ten drivers. In Q2 he had finished ninth on a fresh set of super soft tires (1:15.482 min). The accident happened when he was on his final fast lap in Q3 on another fresh set of super soft tires. He crashed into the barrier in the fast section after the tunnel. According to the current information, the team has no indication there was a technical failure, but it is investigating the accident further to find the reason for it.

Team Principal, Peter Sauber, said: “Of course we are very relieved that Sergio wasn’t seriously injured. Up to the accident he was doing very well in qualifying, and also better than expected as he had outperformed all his direct competitors. For Kamui it didn’t go too well in qualifying, but we know what his skills are and expect them to play a role in tomorrow’s race.”

The team’s Technical Director, James Key, said: “First and foremost we are obviously relieved with the reports that Sergio is okay. It’s always very worrying for a team when you see an accident of that magnitude, so it’s good to hear that he is fundamentally okay. We are looking into what happened. There is no indication at the moment from the data we have seen that there was a problem with the car. But we have to talk to Sergio to investigate further what happened.”

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