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

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

  1. dcYeezy said on 29th June 2010, 1:51

    The day kobayashi gets a front runner car, is the day we get a new champion.
    F1 needs more aggresive drivers like him.

  2. JohnBt said on 29th June 2010, 8:22

    Kobayashi will be the first Asian champion sooner or later. No one can stop him. And he’s bloody good. Agressive but fair. A hearty congratulations to Kobayashi. Now, Mr. Peter Sauber – is it the car or the driver?

    • BasCB said on 29th June 2010, 8:42

      I think Sauber is fully with you on that, think about what he said about the Ferrari engines and the “goodbye gift” BMW and Willy Rampf set him up with.

      I would Love to see a giant Whopper on the Sauber engine cover from Silverstone onwards!
      Or some special occasion Sushi or Paella Burger?

      They must be happy about the ROI on that sponsoring effort.

  3. yego said on 29th June 2010, 8:28

    I’m not impressed with Kobayashi at all. He was the slowest of all F1 cars in Q1. He’s just lucky with the safety car, that’s all. There are much better and less kamikaze drivers out there.

    • Hare (@hare) said on 29th June 2010, 8:42

      … dumbstruck. You didn’t see him last year then?

      In a sport where people complain about the lack of overtaking. He’s a fighter.

      He’s new to F1, but he’s showing his talent better than a raft of other new drivers. It would be interesting to see him in a Renault instead of Petrov.

      • Hare (@hare) said on 29th June 2010, 8:47

        I’d like to add to that; If Mark Webber could overtake like Kobayashi… that would be an excellent driver :)

        Sadly I think webber needs to fit some bull bars on the front of his motor… I assume they would be painted red.

  4. Shimks said on 29th June 2010, 9:09

    Kobayashi. I am a huge fan. The most exciting driver to watch in the field at the moment. Sure, he hasn’t got the car to show it, usually. But when he goes, he goes! He reminds me what it was like to watch Schumi in the old days. And Schumi at Montreal this year. Heavily defensive driving. Loved it!

    Sometimes I wonder what the hell people are talking about, when they complain about aggressive driving. IT’S WHAT WE WANT!!!

    Well, me at least.

    That’s why Vettel crashing into Webber was good for the sport (although not the team). It showed two drivers refusing to give. That gets your heart pumping.

    Anyway, back to the topic thread:

    Come on, Kamui! Come on, Sauber!

    • Hare (@hare) said on 29th June 2010, 9:40

      Agreed. We want a spectacle right? The guy does two great overtakes at the end of the race, and someone shouts out ‘reckless’..

      I think we can agree that there will always be a divergence of agreement.

    • Charles Carroll said on 29th June 2010, 13:43

      I completely agree! I openly admit that this is really my first year in the sport, and I have been doing a lot of reading of its history during this time as well. But one thing is for sure, I came because I wanted to watch exciting racing.

      If it were not exciting, I wouldn’t watch. Pure and simple!

      That is why I enjoyed Kamui’s race, and yes, even Vettel’s ill-fated pass on Webber at Istanbul. To me, aggressive racing with winning as the only goal is what this sport should be about.

  5. Kobayashi was fantastic! He’s earned himself a fan in me. His move on Alonso was the best part of the race for me.

  6. Kobayashi overtaking Alonso got the biggest cheer of the race here!

  7. DaveW said on 30th June 2010, 5:52

    I hope Kobayashi remembered to tip:

    “At the beginning of my move, in one moment, he tried to close the door but he recognised that we would crash if he closed the door. So he just gave it away. It was a great move for him and I really have to say thanks for him.”

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