Irrepressible Kobayashi stars in first home race (Sauber race review)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Suzuka, 2010

Kamui Kobayashi was in great form at his first home race.

He passed a string of cars with some astonishing late-braking moves to score points for the sixth time this year.

With Nick Heidfeld finishing behind him this was also Sauber’s biggest points haul of the season.

Nick Heidfeld Kamui Kobayashi
Qualifying position 11 14
Qualifying time comparison (Q2) 1’32.187 (-0.24) 1’32.427
Race position 8 7
Average race lap 1’43.716 (+0.106) 1’43.611
Laps 53/53 53/53
Pit stops 1 1

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Nick Heidfeld

Nearly scraped into Q3 but had to settle for 11th, three places ahead of his team mate.

Ran eighth at the start and finished there after being passed by Kobayashi near the end:

In the end I could have finished one place higher, but I was on a different tyre strategy to Kamui and he was obviously faster with his fresh option tyres.
Nick Heidfeld

Compare Nick Heidfeld’s form against his team mate in 2010

Kamui Kobayashi

Used exactly the same strategy as Jenson Button, starting on hard tyres and not changing them until lap 38.

He passed Jaime Alguersuari and Adrian Sutil before his pit stop, then had to take Alguersuari again once he had switched to soft tyres.

He also picked off Rubens Barrichello and finally Heidfeld to complete an impressive drive from 14th to seventh.

Had Rosberg not retired we could have seen an exciting three-way battle for sixth in the closing stages of the race. Kobayashi said:

I tried my best and I am very happy. It was a great race for our team, and I?m very pleased for the Japanese fans who have watched an exciting race.

It is the second time we have got both cars in the points, and for me it was really something to come back here and race for the first time after seven years in front of my home crowd.

Nevertheless it was a very tough race today. Qualifying and the race in the space of only a few hours made it quite a busy and unusual Sunday. After the start I saw the accidents in front of me, and I was really lucky not to be hit.

Later it was not too easy to overtake and I had some contact. The car was damaged, but it was not too severe and I was able to finish the race. I really want to thank the team for the great job and the fans for their fantastic support.??
Kamui Kobayashi

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

2010 Japanese Grand Prix

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Image ?? BMW Sauber F1 Team