Kobayashi: Qualifying problem lost us a podium
14 May 2012 – Sauber collected another ten points in Spain on Sunday, with Kamui Kobayashi justifying his belief that the team was capable of managing a top five result. However, the Japanese is convinced that a maiden rostrum finish could have been possible. In the other car, Sergio Pérez ran into pit-stop trouble and was forced to retire.
Managing to pass into the top ten shootout on Saturday, Kobayashi was forced to start tenth after his car failed at the end of Q2. In the immediate aftermath of qualifying, the Japanese was convinced that fifth position would have been possible; he proved his point 24 hours later, pulling strong passes on both Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg.
“The team did a really great job and the update on our car works very well,” he said. “The pace in the race was a big improvement compared to the last race. I absolutely believe I could have made it onto the podium today if I had not been so unlucky in qualifying yesterday.
“If you start ninth you can be happy finishing fifth, but the car had more potential. I was in traffic and overtaking was not easy. I could not do it on the straights with the help of the DRS because there I wasn’t close enough. So I had to take some risks and do it in the corners. I damaged my tyres quite a lot in the last stint.
“The competition is really tight at the moment. If you want to get in front of the pack you have to get everything right on the weekend. This is what Pastor (Maldonado) did. The last time I came fifth was last year in Monaco and I am very much looking forward to returning soon.”
Five rounds into the 2012 Formula 1 season, Sauber sits seventh in the Constructors’ Championship and just two points behind Mercedes and Williams for fifth place.