Kamui Kobayashi made his third appearance in the final stage of qualifying this season, and will start from tenth place for Sunday’s 58-lap Turkish Grand Prix, and no one could be more delighted than the Japanese driver.
Perhaps motivated to quell some of the criticism that has perhaps – unfairly, we might argue – been heaped on him of late, Kamui drove the wheels off his Sauber C29 in qualifying, but his efforts to get into Q3 left him with barely any fresh tyres at his disposal for the final 10-minute session.
Not figured to be anything more than a fifth-row contender for qualifying, he did exactly that and was unable to bump Renault’s Vitaly Petrov from ninth place on his single high-speed run in Q3.
Describing himself as “really happy” with the result, the former Toyota driver added: “After Monaco [where the team achieved another double-DNF], this is very important for the team. We are back on the pace we had in Barcelona. For me, driving here was much better on Saturday than on Friday as setup changes, as well as conditions played a role.”
Team-mate Pedro de la Rosa – who has never been a particularly crash-hot qualifying specialist – was unable to match his team-mate’s achievements and will start from 13th place on the grid.
He added: “The balance of the car in general was very good. I believe we have quite a consistent car for the race because our long runs in free practice were good.”
But will the car hold together long enough for you to achieve a decent result? Time will tell…
[Original image via AUTOSPORT]