Kamui Kobayashi delivered another good result for Sauber today after taking sixth place at the British Grand Prix, scoring eight championship points.
However, teammate Pedro de la Rosa was forced to retire with damage sustained to the rear of his car.
“I'm really happy, but actually I don't have much to tell,” said Kobayashi after his race. “I had a very good start from 12th, the team did a great pit stop and the race pace today was as good as I thought it would be.
“I was pretty confident before the race because I can really feel how the car is getting better and better now. I had no chance to overtake anybody this time, but I still enjoyed the race. I didn't find it especially hard, I didn't even sweat.”
De la Rosa was hit from behind by a Force India at half distance, and the carbon fibre debris that was littered across the track caused a safety car. The Spaniard was unable to continue. “Naturally I'm very disappointed,” de la Rosa said. “The car was quite good. I had some understeer, but nothing major.
“Right after the start I was racing alongside Rubens Barrichello and he pushed me wide in turn one. That was where I lost two places and dropped back to 11th. But I was still racing for points when Adrian Sutil hit me from behind at half distance of the race because not everybody in front of me had stopped by then. Unfortunately the damage proved to be too bad to continue.”
The points scored by Kobayashi at this event add to those collected last time out in Valencia after the Japanese driver finished seventh. Team principal Peter Sauber said that Kobayashi’s performance this time out was even better: “This was another strong and successful race for Kamui. But the difference to the recent Grand Prix in Valencia is this time he had to withstand a lot of pressure over the entire race distance. There was never a real gap ahead or behind him.
“He managed this tight situation very well and I think he could have gone even faster. My compliments not only to him and his driving, but also to the team which is improving the car step by step.
“Pedro had a very unlucky race. Right after the start he was pushed off by somebody, but he still had a good chance for points before the incident with Adrian Sutil on lap 26.”
The team’s recent performance improvements coincide with the arrival of James Key from Force India. Sauber’s technical director was also delighted with Kobayashi’s performance.
“I am very pleased we brought home points for the second race in a row,” said Key. “We consolidated our performance shown in qualifying. Kamui had an excellent first lap andthen he drove a very controlled race – again with no mistakes. The team also got everything right and the pit stop strategy was fine.
“It is a great shame for Pedro, because he really deserved a good race result. But after the collision the rear wing endplate and diffuser were damaged, and once we have had a first look at it we decided to retire Pedro from the race because we were uncertain about further structural damage.”