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

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

Browse all 2010 Japanese Grand Prix articles

Image ?? BMW Sauber F1 Team

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42 comments on Irrepressible Kobayashi stars in first home race (Sauber race review)

  1. Kobayashi is an excellent driver…..providing us with wonderful overtaking(Brazil,Abu Dhabi, Valencia, Suzuka)!Alex Yoong(Former F1 Driver) underlined on ESPN how Kobayashi was already very good at doing the dive maneuver in GP2…and stated he was probably one of the best overtaking drivers in the current Formula 1 Roster….

    • F1iLike said on 11th October 2010, 18:34

      I was surprised every time he dived in ahead at the hairpin.. I was thinking every time “no not this lap, he’s too far back” and wooah there he goes :P some seriously good braking!

  2. Loved Kobayashi’s drive, but was cringing at EJ’s description of how much watching Kamui turned him on. Really disturbing stuff!!

  3. whatsup said on 11th October 2010, 16:05

    @ KEITH

    Don’t forget to mention the following, if you haven’t already:

    “Team manager Beat Zehnder explained: “Some deflectors are missing from the car, and the sidepod has a big hole in it. Also a part of the front wing isn’t there any more.”

    “Renault’s Robert Kubica retired from the race after five minutes with a missing wheel and said: “What Kamui did with his car was super. Because I had to watch on television, he saved my day.””

    http://www.yallaf1.com/2010/10/11/kobayashi-hailed-as-hero-of-japanese-gp/

  4. BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th October 2010, 16:06

    This was another trademark solid but invisible drive from Heidfeld to points and a really impressive drive by Kamui. I see him as driver of the race.

  5. daniel said on 11th October 2010, 16:06

    this was an awesome drive from kobayashi.. super impressed.. was impressed in his first race when i first saw him.. hope he has a ride beyond 2011.. cuz he is exciting to watch

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 11th October 2010, 20:21

      He’ll have to prove himself pretty convincingly next year. Sauber is gonna be Mexican funded (maybe even owned) with one Mexican driver already in a car and another looking to move into the team for 2012. Hopefully he can have a good season next year and get picked up by a bigger team.

  6. Hare (@hare) said on 11th October 2010, 16:13

    Didn’t he race for Toyota in Japan last year? If so, that what his first home race….?

  7. Dan Thorn (@dan-thorn) said on 11th October 2010, 16:28

    To me Kobayashi proved yesterday that even though it’s difficult to pass with modern aero, it’s far from impossible as long as you have big enough cojones. Brilliant, ballsy drive with overtakes in quite an unusual place. Top marks.

  8. explosiva said on 11th October 2010, 16:32

    Kamui’s overtaking move on the outside of Jaime at the hairpin was just superb!! I was really nervous that Alguesuari had fatally damaged the Sauber. Thankfuly, Kamui was able to bring home the points. Definitely the driver of the day!

  9. Very very impressive drive by Kamui yesterday…he’s trying to get some respect after the whole commotion with Telmex and the mexican drivers. Would love seeing him as Alonso’s team mate next year but Bravo!! Kamui very well done.

  10. Leeeeeeeroooooy Jhhhhhaaaaaaankaaaaaaaaaaans! I won’t be able to watch Kamui again without this going through my head. So glad the BBC commentary cut so we got that gem from Crofty.

  11. I told you guys so… Kamui was one of the most impressive drivers to race on the Macau Grand Prix, which I follow every year. Another one that would trully deserve a drive is Edoardo Mortara, this year’s Euro F3 Champion. He was in Gp2 and had the same performance as Kobayashi there, but Gp2 is nowhere near as close as a proving ground for F1 as F3, since teamwork, setup and relationship between chassis and engine is much closer to F1 in F3 than in GP2. THis year’s Macau GP is in the 21st of November. Looking forward to see if there’s another stand out kid coming in this new generation. Last year Mortara won and he’s coming back. But heard very good things from this year’s British F3 champion. And the japanese champion, Kunimoto, is very, very young… I remember Hakkinen vs Schumacher , Hamilton vs ROsberg, trully remarkable battles over here that gave a prelude of things to come…Kamui if given the chance can be up there with Hamilton, also Di Resta- this kid was fast.

  12. DaveW said on 11th October 2010, 17:35

    Kobayashi taught class yesterday. Pulling that insane pass on Algersuari, then lashing his palm with a ruler when the presumptuous student when he didn’t focus on the lesson.

    Kobayashi gets the Dale Earnhardt award of the race: people who tried half-*ssed blocks on him got passed and got a little autograph on the sidepod as a souvenir.

    Heidfeld was very solid. It’s a shame that he is being pushed out by Carlos Slim pesos.

  13. f1yankee said on 11th October 2010, 18:18

    kobyashi continues to drive like his pants are on fire, and nick is back to his old invisible self.

  14. Sush Meerkat said on 11th October 2010, 19:08

    Not only can this kid overtake but he does it flair and style, I what mean is he’s exciting to watch!, Nick Heidfeld did some overtaking moves in the past but nothing of this magnitude.

    He reminds me of Keke Rosberg, that swashbuckling swagger of a driving style that is superb to watch.

    “I’m sorry Kamui, but your only 14th fastest”
    “bother that nonsense, I want more points!, WATCH THIS!”

    The mentalist!

  15. After his perfomance in Suzuka I wanted to know more about him (I didn’t watch F1 since 1995 until this year). I must admit he has great skills for manouvers side by side, great anticipation, a lot of talent. Better than many veterans. It is a long time since F1 has so many talented drivers (although not always in the fastest cars).
    He is definitely the future star.

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