Strategy gamble helps Kobayashi take seventh on last lap (Sauber race review)

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Valencia, 2010

Kamui Kobayashi rode his luck to take a terrific seventh place.

The highlight of his race were two bold passes in the final laps, taking Fernando Alonso and Sebastien Buemi.

That elevated him to seventh, Sauber’s best result of the year to date.

Pedro de la Rosa Kamui Kobayashi
Qualifying position 16 18
Qualifying time comparison (Q1) 1’39.003 (-0.34) 1’39.343
Race position 12 7
Average race lap 1’46.614 (+0.289) 1’46.325
Laps 57/57 57/57
Pit stops 1 1

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Pedro de la Rosa

De la Rosa started 17th and swapped places with Jaime Alguersuari twice in the first two laps.

He gained five positions in the pits which left him tenth at the chequered flag. But he was one of the nine drivers found to have driven too quickly when the safety car was deployed, and his five-second penalty dropped him out of the points to 12th.

Compare Pedro de la Rosa’s form against his team mate in 2010

Kamui Kobayashi

The weekend started badly for Kobayashi as he was knocked out in the first part of qualifying. Sauber split the strategies between their drivers, starting Kobayashi on medium tyres and not pitting him under the safety car.

This instantly elevated the Sauber driver to third place, which he held despite having the reigning world champion breathing down his neck.

Kobayashi resisted Button before finally coming in for his mandatory pit stop after 53 laps on the same set of tyres. He switched to super-softs for the final laps and came out with Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Buemi in his sights.

On the penultimate lap he dived past Alonso at turn 17, who seemed to think Kobayashi was too far behind to make a pass and hadn’t covered the inside of the corner.

A lunge down the inside of Buemi at the final corner also paid off, allowing Kobayashi to take a remarkable seventh place:

It was great racing there at the front, but it was not easy either because I had Jenson Button close behind me all the time, and also I had to look after my tyres. I was careful not to overdrive them.

After my pit stop I had only four laps to make use of my fresh tyres. At this moment I had better grip than anybody else, and I felt I had to make the most out of it.

Of course it was a risk to overtake Alonso and Buemi. If it hadn?t worked out and I had crashed I would have been in trouble.
Kamui Kobayashi

Compare Kamui Kobayashi’s form against his team mate in 2010

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