Formula 1

Kobayashi Looks Back On First Full Season

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Sauber driver Kamui Kobayashi has been reviewing his first full season in Formula One, where he had the measure of both his team-mates – Pedro de la Rosa and, from Singapore onwards, Nick Heidfeld, and scored 32 points.

“We had a lot of ups and downs, but overall we had a good season,” said the Japanese driver, in summary. “In the beginning we were struggling a lot. This was a pretty bad time. It was hard, and it was very difficult to recover from this situation during the season, because nowadays there is no testing. Despite this, towards the end of the season we were much stronger. The team did a great job to recover from this and I want to thank them for all their work.”

F1 fans will remember the Japanese Grand Prix as the race where Kobayashi excelled, bravely overtaking anyone who got in his way, and eventually finishing seventh. “I think I had an interesting race in Japan,” the driver said, looking back on his home race. “It was a very nice moment for me and for the Japanese fans.”

However, the rookie can also recall clearly his worst moment of the season: “That was when I crashed on the first lap of the Canadian Grand Prix.”

Kobayashi has been an exciting driver to watch throughout the season, with his brave – and sometimes slightly foolish – overtaking manoeuvres. His secret? “Because I am Japanese I have small eyes – so I can't see the others guys,” he said, before adding “If I feel I can overtake I just do it. That's all, no secret.”

Next season Kobayashi remains at Sauber, with Mexican Sergio Perez partnering him at the Hinwil-based team. The 24-year-old knows that he will need to make fewer mistakes in 2011 as his own ‘rookie’ tag is lifted. “My personal aim is to make zero mistakes,” he said. “For the team I hope we will have a good car, and be able to fight for points on a regular basis to improve our position in the championship.”

But before winter testing begins on the first day of February, Kobayashi has two months out of the car to fill. He explains what he will be doing: “I have some appointments in Japan and I will be returning to Abu Dhabi soon for the opening ceremony of the Ferrari WorldI will also spend two weeks on holiday in Bali and, of course, I will be training. But in terms of fitness training, it helps that nowadays we have more time during the season to exercise because it is also very important to be able to do this consistently.”

Finally, as a quirky aside, Kobayashi is asked “If you had a free wish – what would it be?”

“This is an easy one to answer,” he said. “In Japanese Mangas there is a kind of 'where-do-you-want-to-go-to' door. You decide where you would want to go, step through this special door and you are there. This would be a great thing to have – I could have a beautiful house anywhere in the world, maybe on a nice island, and sleep there every night!”

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