Kamui Kobayashi drove a spectacular Turkish Grand Prix to finish in tenth place and pick up a point for his Sauber team after starting from the back row of the grid.
A fuel pump problem in qualifying yesterday meant that the Japanese driver was unable to set a lap but, despite a puncture in today’s race, managed countless overtaking manoeuvres and was rewarded with his eighth point of 2011.
“It was a lot of fun today, I really enjoyed this race,” he said. “I found overtaking here a lot easier than last year in Hungary (where he start 23rd and finished ninth).
“Before the race I had promised Peter [Sauber, his Team Principal] 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 SÃ©bastien Buemi when I overtook him. Otherwise I think I could have finished seventh and score more points.
“The car was great and also the team had a very good strategy for me, so I want to thank them for this. In the end I had to be a bit careful and save the tyres, because the last stint was quite long with 20 laps, but it worked out well.”
Sergio Perez was not quite so lucky. He lost his front wing in the early stages of the race and could only finish fourteenth.
“We had a good pace today and I clearly had a chance to score my first points,” said the Mexican. “It is a real shame what happened on the first lap. 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.
“Apart from that I found it quite difficult to manage the tyres – both compounds actually – but the car was really good. I will now continue to work with the team to improve my qualifying performance.”
Peter Sauber congratulated both of his drivers on their efforts today, noting that there was a potential for more points if things had gone their way.
“The Sauber C30 Ferrari was excellent today, as were both our drivers, and the strategy could not have been any better,” commented the eponymous Team Principal. “Kamui overtook countless drivers, and Sergio also passed many competitors. Unfortunately neither driver was able to get the full reward they deserved today. However, Kamui scored one point despite starting from the back of the grid, which was amazing.”