Kobayashi out of Sauber?

This topic contains 33 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  Prisoner Monkeys 5 years, 10 months ago.

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    Just when you start thinking the Silly season couldn’t get much more crazy with Pedro to HRT, Kimi back in at Renault, Petrov probably looking elsewhere for a drive, someone comes up with yet another unexpected story.

    Bring in Swiss tabloid “Blick” who report that allegedly there is a “rumour in the UK about Kobayashi losing his Sauber drive” next year – http://www.blick.ch/sport/formel1/kobayashi-bei-sauber-vor-dem-aus-189133
    As this is in German, i will give it a shot at translating the article for all of you who are not too fluent in German:

    Are the days of Kamui Kobayashi at Sauber coming to an end? The people in Hinwill react to these newest rumours with suprise.
    Only tree days ago, team boss Peter Sauber wrote in his BLICK column: “In the second half of the season something turned bad for Kobayashi, therefore his performance in the final race and his 9th place finish were a great relieve for him”.

    In the UK there are currently some wild insider-rumours about the Japanese Sauber driver. His days at Sauber are said to be coming to an end and he is close to being booted from the team, according to rumours on the Island.

    In Hinwill they won’t hear about Kobayashi leaving at all, they show suprise at the rumour. The only fact is, that Kobayashi has a tough year behind him (R.B.)

    Hard to tell how much (or little) truth there is in it, but then again, who would have tipped De La Rosa to be signed at HRT a couple of weeks ago. What do you think of this one?


    Kobayashi has a contract for 2012.

    If they really do replace him with Bianchi, words cannot express how angry I will be. There will be swearing.



    Kobayashi certainly doesn’t deserve to be booted out of Sauber. He did struggle some races in the second half of the year (Singapore, South Korea), but he also was very unlucky in some of them (Japan, Italy, Great Britain). Kobayashi definitely looked good in the final two races of this season, and his performances in the first half of the year can’t just be forgotten.

    Just like Mag, if Kobayashi was to be replaced (though I don’t think he will be), I will be swearing my head off.

    EDIT: After reading it again, Peter Sauber’s quote seems to be a quick review of the second half of Kobayashi’s season. To me it seems to be just people putting words into Sauber’s mouth.


    Prisoner Monkeys

    To be fair, Kobayashi hasn’t exactly lived up to the hype.


    He won’t be a world champions and he probably won’t be a race winner, sadly. But he’s a bloody good overtaker and has proven to be just as good as Perez. His bad luck and Sauber’s average second half of the season masked his true potential, but he does need to sort out his qualifying.

    He’s my favourite driver and I’d like nothing more than to see him and the Sauber team succeed.


    Prisoner Monkeys

    I’m not just talking about 2011.



    Perhaps it’s your fault for getting carried away and overhyping him?

    I see him as one of the more promising upcoming drivers – in the same category as Rosberg, Petrov and Alguersuari – and I think this year, he’s outdone all of them bar Sutil.

    After all, he’s put the car where it ought to be. Despite being known for his agressive style and daring overtakes, he rarely makes mistakes – he only had one accident all year – and never had a truly bad race. In always finishing 15th or above, he outdid Schumacher, Petrov and Di Resta, and matched Sutil – all of whom had faster cars than him.

    Judged against his peers, he’s had a season to be proud of, picking his risks well and combining high achievement (like a 5th at Monaco) with consistency (like 7 consecutive top-ten finishes). And he remained consistent and focused even when the other teams improved their cars more quickly than Sauber, showing he can keep his head up when the going is tough.

    Put that together with the way he’s conducted himself in interviews, talking about responsiblility and always staying positive. From where I’m sitting, this is easily his most mature season, and I reckon he’s developed into a real team leader. I can’t imagine Sauber getting rid of him.



    I agree with Alex ( @smallvizier ), except for Kobayashi “outdoing” Rosberg.


    Prisoner Monkeys

    @smallvizier – I never overhyped Kobayashi. I didn’t even hype him. If anything, I opposed him; I didn’t want to get too carried away with supporting him until he actually demonstrated some consistent results. Two years later, and he hasn’t really achieved that.



    @prisoner-monkeys I think @smallvizier ‘s comment was directed at @magnificent-geoffrey




    This is how Kobayashi’s season started:

    Australia: 8th (subsequently disqualified)
    Malaysia: 7th
    China: 10th
    Turkey: 10th
    Spain: 10th
    Monaco: 5th
    Canada: 7th

    Seven top-ten finishes in the first seven races, driving for a team who would have expected to be sixth in the pecking order at best (behind Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault), is not only consistent, but very impressive. His season fell away after that, but he still scored points in three more races, only one less time than his team-mate. I would say he wasn’t drastically under-performing in that spell; it just looked bad because he had done so well at the start of the year.

    Go back to last season, and he finished in the points eight times in the last thirteen races. That makes a 20-race streak where he only failed to score on six occasions, two of which weren’t his fault at all (gearbox failure in Italy 2010, disqualification in Australia 2011). So what leads you say he hasn’t demonstrated consistent results?



    Im with @prisoner-monkey on this one.

    He has had many brilliant performances but I don’t see him being WDC.



    @magnificent-geoffrey In the world of F1, you can’t really base any certainties on contracts unfortunately.

    Kobayashi certainly slipped in the second half of 2011, but I think he’s done enough for another year, and I don’t think there are any alternatives that would do a better job.



    It’s definitely possible. A few days ago I don’t imagine many people Petrov would be out of a drive – but he is. Contracts don’t seem to mean much these days.


    Prisoner Monkeys

    @tflb1 – Vitaly Petrov was given the option to stay with the team. Renault told him that it was his choice, but he had until December 10 to make up his mind. Today might be December 9, but the annoucement was made just before 6am GMT, so at the very least, Grosjean signed up last night, two days before Petrov’s deadline. Petrov had previously said that he was talking to three teams outside Renault, so I’m willing to bet he wouldn’t make a decision until he knew where he was going to land.

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