Kobayashi Stakes Claim With Strong Race In Abu Dhabi

Kamui Kobayashi did his future career prospects no harm with a strong drive to sixth place in Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. In a race full of incident, Kobayashi stayed out of trouble to move Sauber to within twelve points of Mercedes in the fight for fifth in the constructor’s standings. The Japanese driver didn’t have a totally trouble-free race but praised the team for their part in the result.

“It was a very tough race and I am really happy I was able to get those eight points for the team. To fight for fifth place in the constructors’ championship in the remaining two races will be very exciting. Unfortunately today I could not use the full performance of the car. There was a problem with downshifting, which meant I could not recharge the KERS properly and didn’t have full boost. Otherwise my race went well. I had a good start, while the team did a great job in terms of timing, strategy and the pit stop.”

Teammate Sergio Perez finished outside the points after a collision mid-race ruined his evening. The Mexican was forced off track by Paul Di Resta before making contact with Romain Grosjean as he re-entered. Perez was disappointed given the speed of his car but admitted he had to take risks to gain positions.

“We were looking really good in the race, and I had the feeling even a podium would have been possible. But then after my pit stop I got stuck behind Romain Grosjean and Paul di Resta, and could not get by them because I didn’t have enough straight-line speed. I had to risk a lot to get by, but then unfortunately collided with the Lotus and my race was over. It is a real shame because our race pace was very good.”