SEPTEMBER 7, 2010
Kamui Kobayashi signs with Sauber for 2011
Sauber has re-signed Japanese rookie Kamui Kobayashi for 2011.
Kobayashi, who celebrates his 24th birthday next Monday, has turned in some spirited performances for Peter Sauber's team this year, his best result being sixth place at Silverstone but the highlight being his drive in Valencia, where he adopted a long opening stint on the prime tyre and then overtook Fernando Alonso's Ferrari on fresh option tyres at the end. He has finished in the points five times and currently lies 12th in the drivers' championship with 21 points.
"We enjoy having our rookie as part of the team - both as a driver and a person," Peter Sauber said. "We never had any doubts about working with him again in 2011. Kamui has definitely fulfilled our expectations in terms of his speed and fighting spirit. Plus, his work with the engineers and his technical understanding has also developed very well.
"The experience he has built up over his first full season in F1 will certainly stand him in good stead for 2011. And our aim is to give him a fast and reliable car from the outset next season."
Kobayashi added: "We had a very difficult start to the season but we've worked together to pull ourselves out of that situation. I feel very much at home in Peter Sauber's team and am very pleased we'll be working together again in 2011. However, for now I'm focusing 100% on this year. There are still six grand prix weekends to go in 2010 and we'll be hoping to make up more ground."
Kobayashi and team mate Pedro de la Rosa have been evenly matched throughout the season, the Spaniard outqualifying Kobayashi 7-6 so far, but Sauber will not be confirming its second 2011 driver until a later date.