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

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Image ?? BMW Sauber F1 Team

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

  1. I see a couple of comments of people wanting to see Kamui at another team. I reckon he’d do well to stay with Sauber for a while.

    How about him cementing himself into the number one position in the team. Let him develop them car around his preferences. A couple more years and he will be even better. You don’t get a “Lewis Hamilton” every day but Kamui is a star for the future.

    Hopefully he won’t loose any of his bansai-ness!(If thats even a word.)

    • Electrolite said on 11th October 2010, 21:57

      Absolutely Spud, he kind of needs to do what Kubica is doing, go to a midfield team as the number one driver, then gather enough respect to be offered a serious position at a top team.

      Can’t wait to watch Sauber next year though.

      • I kinda meant that he stay with Sauber for a good stint. It probably won’t happen but we’ve seen Sauber develop from a “back of the grid” team in Bahrain to a solid mid field team now. A bit of continuity for them would do no harm at all.

        But you are right, if he he keeps driving the way he’s driving now, it won’t be long before the big teams come calling.

        Good luck to him he deserves it.


  2. His outside pass at the hairpin was more exciting then his inside dives. At race end his car looked like he was in a NASCAR rubbin’ contest.

    Great driver, you can’t teach aggressiveness like that, you either have it or you don’t.

  3. Mach1 said on 12th October 2010, 1:21

    There is something about the look of the Saubers that I really do like. They are not pretty but they look very pointy and javelin like, quite aggressive. I don’t know if it is the white paint job making it hard to see contours, but they just look fast. I hope this does bring a lot more sponsors.

  4. Monad said on 12th October 2010, 8:06

    Lets hope that some Japanese big company man got excited over what he saw. Really it’s quite shameful how little support this kid gets. His obviously the best driver Japan ever had, they should be backing him up like crazy but they don’t. Maybe the many disappointing drivers they had until now makes them more reserved.

  5. antonyob said on 12th October 2010, 12:28

    I was dreading coming onto this blog such is the gushing from kobi fanboys but to be fair he was brilliant.

    You’re not supposed to be able to overtake under braking anymore such is the small window the cars decelerate in but he took me back to the days of Mansells balls out overtaking. He may not have Mansells inventiveness but he could yet get it.

    Hes getting a rep as an “i will pass you” driver, and just like Senna and pre comeback MS once that is in your head you’re already beaten.

    “Kobibashi” was coined by Brundlefly btw

  6. Marcello said on 12th October 2010, 13:12

    What an excellent drive once more from Kobayashi. I rate him very very highly, he had an excellent race (not for the 1st time) and provided us fans with excellent overtaking. As a Ferrari fan: please Montezemolo can you buy Kamui in place of Felipe?

  7. Marcello said on 12th October 2010, 13:13

    yeah I heard that also..kobabashi lmao….still not as bad as Louise Goodmans Martin Whittaker (Whitmarsh) lol

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