Kobayashi unable to capitalise on grid position
15 April 2012 – Kamui Kobayashi started in a career-best third position for the Chinese Grand Prix, although he and Sauber were unable to make the most of the advantage in Sunday’s race. Team-mate Sergio Pérez, who came close to winning last time out in Malaysia, also experienced a low-key afternoon as he just missed out on the final point.
“Of course, after what we did in qualifying, the race result is disappointing,” admits Japan’s Kobayashi, who collected the said last point for tenth. “I’m not really sure what happened at the start, my car just didn’t move - it was a bit strange and I lost positions immediately. Then I was stuck in traffic for most of the time; also, we made the second pit-stop a bit late and the tyres had gone.
“Quite often, we have recovered in the race from a bad qualifying, but today it was the other way round. So we have proven we can be strong in both qualifying and race, and next time we will put this all together.”
Pérez, who experienced another battle with Fernando Alonso, echoed his team-mate’s sentiments after avoiding a clash with the rejoining Ferrari.
“I must say, I am very disappointed,” the Mexican began. “I had a very good start and for the entire first stint it really looked to be going very well for me. But then, when I picked up the Medium compound tyres, I lost a lot of performance from Lap 17 onwards.
“Actually, I feel I would have been better off with a three-stop strategy, but you never know. The pit-stops as such were good, but at both I lost time at the launch because we had a problem with the clutch. However, this is racing and we will do better next time.”
Sauber retains fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship heading to Bahrain.