Podium chance for Kobayashi

Japanese ace reckons he can hold on to third place

By Mike Wise in Shanghai.   Last Updated: 14/04/12 3:57pm

  • Share:
Kamui Kobayashi: Starts third on the grid in China

Kamui Kobayashi: Starts third on the grid in China

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Kamui Kobayashi sees no reason why Sauber cannot score a second podium in as many races after earning his best qualifying result yet at the Chinese Grand Prix.

THE ONLY PLACE TO BE

Sky Sports F1 HD is THE only place to watch the 2012 Formula One season in full. We will have live coverage of the Chinese Grand Prix starting with P1 on Friday.
FRIDAY - P1 from 2.45am. P2 from 6.45am
SATURDAY - P3 from 3.45am. Q from 6am
SUNDAY - Race from 6.30am
To find out all the different ways to watch the action, click here

The Japanese set the fourth fastest time in the third session but will line up third owing to the gearbox penalty picked up by Lewis Hamilton.

Team-mate Sergio Perez, who came within a whisker of winning the Malaysian Grand Prix two weeks ago, starts eighth in what was a strong performance by the Swiss team.

Speaking after qualifying, both Fernando Alonso and Ross Brawn recognised Sauber's potential with their C31 chassis having shown well in both races held so far.

Until now, its performance on Saturdays has been a different matter and Kobayashi thinks they can land another big points haul provided everything goes to plan when it matters most.

"I'm starting P3 so it's a different feeling, but most important we have to be grounded and see what we can do," he said.

"We are pretty good on high fuel normally, so I think of course we have a chance of a podium. But it's most important we don't lose - we don't mess up - I mean by mistakes.

"I think it's important we use all the performance from the car and strategy and see where we are. I think that this is most important for tomorrow."

Target

Perez challenged Fernando Alonso for victory on a drying track at Sepang but Kobayashi thinks Sauber do not need to rely on wet conditions in order to achieve a good result.

When asked about the anticipated weather for Sunday's race, the 25-year-old replied: "I didn't see the forecast. I think some people said there's a chance but I think for us in the wet conditions we are quite okay, we are quite competitive. Actually, we're not really worried about that.

"Basically, I think we have to do it without a mistake, the race, and try and see good performance from the car. This is the target."

Whilst saying he thought Sauber's C31 was capable of a good performance this weekend, Kobayashi admitted that P3 was still a surprise.

"We didn't expect so much to improve. To be in P4 and start in grid P3 is something special for us. Usually we are good on race pace but we've never had a really good pace in qualifying, so this time we have to see," he added.

"We've had a good car this week. Maybe we've had P6 and P7 and this is the best result what we expected. It's more than expected for sure."

  • Share:

Related

Chinese Grand Prix 2012

Ted's Chinese Notebook

Ted's Chinese Notebook

Sky Sports' Ted Kravitz gives his thoughts on an exciting Chinese Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton: Was generous in his praise of his long-time friend

Hamilton: Nico was too strong

Lewis Hamilton was full of praise for his old karting team-mate Nico Rosberg after the German beat the McLarens in Shanghai.

Nico Rosberg: Won at the 111th attempt

Rosberg never doubted himself

Nico Rosberg says he never doubted he would eventually win races in F1 after finally breaking his duck six years into his career in China.

Related Profiles

Most Popular

Features

Who goes where?

Who goes where?

The state of play - officially and unofficially - in the driver market as 2015 decision time looms.

Three-car teams in '15?

Three-car teams in '15?

Bernie Ecclestone confirms three-car teams proposal would be adopted if only eight outfits on the grid.

Market trading

Market trading

Which teams already have drivers under lock and key - and which ones could have vacancies - for 2015?