Kobayashi: Everything is possible
Kamui Kobayashi says the open state of competition currently existing in F1 means that he and Sauber cannot rule out a breakthrough win.
Last Updated: 21/05/12 11:00am
Kamui Kobayashi says the open state of competition currently existing in Formula 1 means that he and Sauber cannot rule out a breakthrough win.
The Japanese enjoyed the best result of his F1 career in Spain at the weekend, finishing fifth to equal his performance at the Monaco Grand Prix last year.
Buoyed by the result - not to mention the overtaking manoeuvres he made on Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg during the race - Kobayashi has also taken heart from Pastor Maldonado's maiden win.
"We have seen five different winners in five races. So you could say almost everything is possible this year. I believe we have a good car and good chances for good results," he said.
"The final outcome always depends on a lot of factors. But what you have to do for success is to get every small thing perfectly right over the entire weekend. And this is what I'm aiming at."
Kobayashi, who started the race ninth on the grid after suffering a hydraulics problem in qualifying, said he could have finished even higher at the Circuit de Catalunya.
"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," he said.
"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."
Sauber's C31 chassis featured upgrades such as a new diffuser, front wing and rear bodywork, with Kobayashi confident they represent an improvement.
"The most important thing for us was to have confirmation that our new aero package was working well. It is definitely a step forward," he said.
"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.
"I think we have improved in the areas we wanted to.
"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 therefore feels he can reach new heights in the Monaco Grand Prix 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," he added.