Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Barcelona, 2012

Kobayashi expects more from Sauber in Monaco

2012 Monaco Grand Prix

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Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Barcelona, 2012Kamui Kobayashi says Sauber’s new aerodynamic package introduced in Spain is “definitely a step forward”.

In a Q&A published by the team today Kobayashi said: “The most important thing for us was to have confirmation that our new aero package was working well. It is definitely a step forward.

“After I had a difficult qualifying because of an hydraulic problem, I had to start ninth. I think the race performance as such was better than my fifth place suggests.

“Traffic in the race makes it more difficult to handle the tyres. If you looked at Lewis Hamilton, who was fastest in qualifying, you could also see it wasn?t an easy job for him to improve positions in the race traffic after he was forced to start last on the grid.

“Overall I am very happy and proud of what a great job the guys back in the factory did to further develop the car and, of course, what the crew at the race track did.”

Kobayashi added: “I think we have improved in the areas we wanted to. The car is better balanced through the corners now. In terms of stability I would say it is about the same, but stability always depends a lot on the track conditions.”

He said the improvements to the car allowed him to attack during the race: “I definitely had confidence in the car in Barcelona when overtaking.

“I also feel with the update we can now handle the tyre management better during the race. We had been a bit weak on that side before.”

Kobayashi finished fifth in Spain, matching his career-best result achieved in Monaco last year. He is aiming to improve on it next weekend: “I think our car will be better in Monaco than it was last year because it has improved in slow corners.

“In 2011 I finished fifth, so the target should be to finish higher up this year. However, even if you are given the best car in Monaco, in the end a lot is down to the driver to get the ultimate tenths of a second out of it.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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9 comments on “Kobayashi expects more from Sauber in Monaco”

  1. Sauber has probably the best duo in “mid-cap” teams. Both Kobo and Perez have shown they’re fast and can go after big dogs, maybe some upgrades will make their challenger a regular podium contender.

  2. Hopefully for Sauber it will stay cool during the weekend.

  3. They seem very good this year. I hope losing James Key doesn’t affect them too much.

    1. Surely it made me feel they’re very stable team as iron now.

  4. They seem to be good out of slow corners like the Mercedes. The fact Monaco has no straights like China did might give them the edge at Monaco, who knows. I’m looking forward to qualifying SOOO much! This years grid will make it the most tense experience of the season I think.

  5. with thighest grid ever, it would be real game for who is the one. Just tiny mistake in the qualifying would be disaster in Monaco now!

  6. It might be the craziness of this year messing about with my head, but I wouldn’t mind betting that we see Sauber vs Lotus in Monaco. We’ve seen Renault be very strong in the past at Monaco, and as people have mentioned, the Sauber is good out of the tight, slow corners. Combine this with the fact that Perez was mightily quick here last year, and that Kobayashi was able to finish 5th, and there is every chance of a podium.

    I wouldn’t rule out Maldonado either, I may not like him, but he is good around Monaco, and I’m sure Williams will be brewing with confidence after that win.

    It seems so strange not to be talking about Red Bull, McLaren or Ferrari. I’m sure they’ll be up there, but for some reason, I just can’t seem them winning in Monaco.

  7. thekingofspa (@)
    17th May 2012, 16:34

    Well, if this goes on, we could end up with 20 race winners. That would of course mean, one of the backmarker teams winning two races, or two of them winning a race apiece. I guess the only team we can safely exclude is HRT… but wait, I forgot about Massa.

  8. Kobayashi looked like he had some of his old 2010 flare back in Spain so it’s a bit of a shame he’s next on a circuit that isn’t particularly conducive to over-taking. However, if they do qualify well again I expect a decent points haul for them.

    I bet Perez has mixed emotions too.

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