Kamui Kobayashi to stay with Formula 1 team Sauber
Sauber have announced they will retain rookie driver Kamui Kobayashi for 2011 after a string of impressive performances for the Swiss team.
The Japanese driver was given his chance with the team after making appearances for Toyota at the end of 2009, and has scored 21 of Sauber’s 27 points this year while regularly outshining experienced team-mate Pedro de la Rosa.
“Kamui has definitely fulfilled our expectations in terms of his speed and fighting spirit,” said owner and team principal Peter Sauber. “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 Formula One will certainly stand him in good stead for 2011,” he added. “And our aim is to give him a fast and reliable car from the outset next season.”
The 24-year-old’s best finish for Sauber was an impressive sixth in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in July, equalling his sixth place for Toyota at Abu Dhabi.
Kobayashi said: “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 per cent on this year. There are still six grand prix weekends to go in 2010, and we’ll be hoping to make up more ground.”
Sauber have struggled for finances and sponsorship this year, with their cars running largely unbranded, but Peter Sauber is understood to have several big names lined up for 2011 after exceeding expectation in their first year as an independent team following BMW’s withdrawal at the end of 2009.