Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Istanbul, 2011

Sauber: Point for Kobayashi after starting on last row

2011 Turkish GP team reviewPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Kamui Kobayashi promised Peter Sauber he’d score a point from the last row of the grid in Istanbul – and he did.

Kamui Kobayashi Sergio Perez
Qualifying position 23 15
Qualifying time comparison (None) No time
Race position 10 14
Laps 58/58 57/58
Pit stops 3 4

Sauber drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58
Kamui Kobayashi 105.55 96.807 95.881 95.772 95.371 95.8 95.454 95.101 95.386 95.251 95.061 95.179 95.072 111.786 93.366 93.498 93.172 92.919 93.059 93.41 94.323 94.724 106.362 111.258 94.087 92.867 92.438 92.681 92.655 93.042 93.265 93.115 94.909 95.645 95.371 93.458 93.566 93.956 108.782 91.285 91.578 92.041 92.04 91.124 91.038 91.375 92.024 91.301 91.481 91.563 91.59 91.85 91.691 92.515 92.482 92.437 93.494 93.271
Sergio Perez 120.462 119.982 94.654 94.803 94.574 94.232 94.661 94.634 94.604 94.53 95.082 95.88 95.152 96.06 95.852 97.325 110.668 92.261 92.215 92.447 92.563 92.96 92.753 93.613 93.223 93.713 94.7 93.528 93.644 94.371 94.448 95.612 109.299 91.636 92.261 92.995 91.586 91.599 91.741 92.259 92.601 92.954 108.354 90.842 90.932 90.797 90.837 91.185 91.396 91.348 91.697 91.836 92.515 92.993 93.719 93.159 95.216
Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Istanbul, 2011
Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Istanbul, 2011

Kamui Kobayashi

A fuel pump problem kept Kobayashi from setting a time in qualifying. The stewards gave him a dispensation to race under the ‘107% rule’.

As Mark Webber did in similar circumstances in China, Kobayashi got his hard tyre stint out of the way to begin with, then used his fresh soft tyres to make rapid progress through the field.

He finished the race tenth but was being caught rapidly by Felipe Massa when the chequered flag came out.

Kobayashi felt he could have scored more points had he not picked up a puncture: “It was a lot of fun today, I really enjoyed this race. I found overtaking here a lot easier than last year in Hungary.

“Before the race I had promised Peter (Sauber) to score points today.

“It is just one point now because we lost so much time due to a puncture, which was the result of touching Sebastien Buemi when I overtook him. Otherwise I think I could have finished seventh and score more points.”

Kamui Kobayashi 2011 form guide

Sergio Perez

Contact with a Williams on the first lap spoiled Perez’s start to the race:

Pastor Maldonado was braking quite hard in front of me and I couldn?t avoid hitting him. I broke my front wing and had to pit.”

From that point he was left playing catch-up. He ended the race swapping places with Adrian Sutil, finishing 14th behind the Force India.

Sergio Perez 2011 form guide

2011 Turkish Grand Prix

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45 comments on “Sauber: Point for Kobayashi after starting on last row”

  1. Great drive by Kobayashi. Beating a Ferrari despite all the problems he was having in the qualifying and race.

  2. TheScuderia (@)
    9th May 2011, 13:21

    Kobayashi!!!! Great drive. He continuous to impress me.

  3. Excellent again. I will be amazed if one of the big boys doesn’t come calling for 2012

    1. Unfortunately all the big boys have golden boys well-established in their teams (McLaren – Hamilton, Ferrari – Alonso, RedBull – Vettel). Knowing how much potential this guys has, they might see him as a menace for their stars so I don’t see Kobayashi going to a top team in the next 2 years. Also the fact that he’s Japanese doesn’t help him too much.

      1. I think he should get picked up by Mercedes if Schumi leaves, or by Red Bull if Webber calls it a day. Unfortunately, Mclaren seems happy with Jenson, or I would think that Hamilton and Kobayashi would be a really exciting team to watch.

        1. In case Schumi leaves (which I don’t think will happen until the end of 2012) I think Mercedes will take Hulkenberg or Di Resta. It’s even less likely for Kamui to get a RedBull seat given the fact that there’s a long line of drivers from Toro Rosso awaiting to get there.

          1. As much as I’d like to see Koby in a Mercedes, I think you’re right. But you never know. It’s a long season ahead still and a lot could still happen.

          2. I don’t think Mercedes would take either Hulkenberg or Di Resta. They are both too unproven. Kobayashi, on the other hand, will have had over two seasons by hte end of the year.

        2. Todfod! A man after my heart!! Hamilton and kobayashi in the same team, with a competitive car just sounds like a dream come true!

          1. They’d have to change the name from McLaren to the McOvertakers.

    2. I guess Kobayashi being Japanese is not helping him securing a drive at one of the top teams. They are still skeptical about Japanese drivers’ ability.

      1. What makes you think his nationality has anything to do with it?

        1. Prejudice. Japan has never produced a top driver in F1 history so even though Kobayashi has been doing very well since his first race back in 2009 people,I mean boss’s of top teams, may think he might be another Sato who did okay at less competitive teams but at BAR in 2004 he failed badly.

          Additionally his marketing value in question. Japanese market is developed and in a way it it closed market for non-Japanese companies.

          1. That explains why you wouldn’t hire a Japanese driver but there’s no reason to assume the teams think the same way.

          2. Just because other Japanese drivers have struggled doesn’t mean Kobayashi would struggle. Any team that judges drivers on nationality are idiots.

          3. Douglas62500
            9th May 2011, 16:49

            Well how about Nakajima in the 90s or more recently Takuma Sato ?? I think both of them are epic as well !!

          4. That explains why someone would not want a Japanese driver, but they would want Kobayashi.

          5. If Kobayashi continues to kick *ass, for example, claiming a Ferrari scalp after starting in the back, he could be a full-blooded Martian and he will get a proper contract.

            Unfortunately for him, the big teams have well-defined matriculation systems. The most obvious place for a promising guy to move up is Mercedes, but they have DiResta and Paffett in the wings. One of those could get shunted to McLaren or FI if Button or Sutil move on, but seems unlikely. Nothing is going to free up until something dramatic happens like Hamilton trying to get in a Newey car; or Ferrari or McLaren trying to get Rosberg.

            BTW, I love how Kobayashi promised Sauber to get points before the race…starting from last…in a Sauber. I like the swagger and the confidence; its the same as comes out in his drivin style. Some drivers would say, well, I’m starting from the pits and my car is mediocre at best, so be happy with what you get.

          6. At least Peter Sauber doesn’t doubt about his capability and it might push big names’s interest.

      2. It’s not about ability (he proved that he has plenty) it’s about the marketing potential. Since the majority of teams are from Europe it would be easier for them to promote their brand with an European driver. Take for example Mercedes, if they had to choose between Hulkenberg and Kobayashi – they are both good but German cars look better when driven by a German driver.

        1. Utter tosh.

          Japan is one of the biggest markets in the world for luxury brands. Armani, Boss, Mercedes, BMW, Louis Vitton, are everywhere.

          The Japanese go absolutely nuts for any of their sports people that are successful overseas (Ichiro Suzuki, and Hideki Matsui being the most famous examples).

          Kamui is extremely popular here, racing for Sauber, I can only imagine how massive it would be if he was in a Ferrari, or a Mclaren. I just hope it happens. He deserves it.

          1. I think Ferrari might be his best shot at a top team, with the Sauber connection, and the reasons others have given above for it being unlikely he’d join Red Bull or Mercedes.

        2. Klaas has a good point about the marketing aspect. Peter Sauber said himself that he can’t get any Japanese sponsorship despite having a Japanese driver so a different team might be skeptical about bringing Kamui on if can’t bring any money with him.

          But I think Kamui would get picked up by a top team if he continues performing the way he is. If anything, I bet McLaren would be the top team to pick him up since Ron Dennis likes to have the best drivers on his team.

          1. Peter Sauber said he wanted keep the same driver lineup for 2012 at this early stage of 2011.
            This may mean that Sauber team already have had contact with big name(s).
            If it was Williams, Force India, Green Lotus or other mid fielder, he didn’t need to say anything since he was sure he could keep Kobayashi for 2012.

  4. Amazing race pace. but he still need competitive quali pace though this time is not his fault.

  5. This guy is really great. Knowing what’s in it and delivering. Very nice.

    I guess today was not the day for a whole lot of great overtaking, but he did have a very good drive there.

  6. He lost about 10-12 seconds with the puncture. Taking into account that he got stuck in traffic as a result, he could have finished 7th or 8th quite easily. A great race for Kobayashi.

    Does raise questions about Perez though.

    1. Perez was really unlucky as well. He had to change his front wing early in the race, and that dropped him to the back of the grid. Its been only 4 races, there is more than enough time for Perez to shine.

    2. I’m not so sure. His times compare favourably with Kobayashi’s, if he hadn’t lost so much time at the start he could have scored a handful of points.

  7. I had been wondering why it took him so long to overtake Sutil after he’d (from the live timings) sailed past Buemi, only to then lose that place again. So it was a puncture. A shame.

    But it’s cool to see he’s happy with a result, but not entirely satisfied that he got the maximum. That seems the right way to approach these things.

    Strange how Sauber seemed so slow all weekend and then just came alive in the race. I’m not complaining though :)

  8. Has Japan got talent? take a look at Kobayashi!!!
    Impressive drive at Toyota made us observe him. Then, on the sponsor-less Sauber last year, he taught an overtaking class in many circuits, but what I remember the most is when he made Susuka his realm. He didn’t win, of course, but lit the show. Give him a chance in Renault, for example, and he would surprise with podiums!

  9. Sauber clearly have the pace to get into the points regularly, with a bit more luck, and they also seem to have two drivers that have good pace and racing craft. Perez might have to work on his starts,but I think Sauber is continuing their upwards trend from the last half of 2010.

    1. Redbull, Mclaren, Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault, should take up the first 10points scoring positions as they have faster cars. So I don’t see how you mean Sauber have the pace to get into the points.

      1. McLaren Fan 17
        9th May 2011, 18:32

        I see your point, but how many times have the top teams completely locked out the points? Sauber are usually there to capitalise when something goes wrong for one of the big teams.

        1. Yup, definitely. In fact, they’ve been there every race so far this year :)

  10. Kamui is the best Japanese F1 racer, by quite a big margin.

    To early? doubt so. He’s fast, he’s aggressive, yet he makes the moves work (unlike Taku Sato for instance), he’s great making the strategies work and he brings the car home on points regularly.

    1. Exactly.

      Hopefully he now gets rewarded for the effort with a drive in a competitive car.

      Red Bull is trying extremely hard to break into the (massive) Japanese Energy drink market. Kamui alongside Vettel would be a dream for their Japanese marketing agency.

    2. I think he is the best Asian driver ever? Have any Asian driver ever won a GP?

  11. Many predicted that Kobayashi will be there in the top 10.His move over Schumacher going on the grass was awesome.He don’t need DRS or KERS just a competitive car is enough for him.

  12. Terrific driver. Such a shame the BBC didn’t look at him much during the race.

  13. love kobayashi…. :P

  14. A perfect line-up for me is Kubica and Kobayashi that would be a strong performance:)

  15. Kobayashi – contender for my driver of the weekend without a doubt. I predicted around 10th for him and he did not disappoint! He seemed to relish at the prospect post-qualifying.

    An exciting team these Sauber. Pity Perez hasn’t managed to wow quite as much as he did in Melbourne but he’s still doing well.

  16. It’s kind of silly how we cannot see Kobayashi’s overtakes and puncture as it wasn’t televised. The viewers can only see highlights of what was shown on the TV and nothing more. I know there is so much going on in the race this season so it’s hard to look at what everything so it would make sense for viewers to see what has happened elsewhere on the track.

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