• Belgian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Kobayashi confident of strong race pace

ESPN Staff
September 1, 2012 « Webber eyes race day progress | Old-spec wing costs Hamilton dear »
Kamui Kobayashi celebrates qualifying on the front row © Sutton Images
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Kamui Kobayashi believes Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix will be a good opportunity for Sauber to score another strong result after he qualified second at Spa-Francorchamps.

Kobayashi qualified 0.3s off Jenson Button's pole position lap to secure the highest grid position of his career. Kobayashi said his lap was better than expected and is looking forward to Sunday as the Sauber is often better on race pace.

"We expected to be quite high here because Spa is one of our favourite circuits," he said. "I think our car should be good here as well, but we didn't expect second in qualifying. We are quite strong in the race but not really strong performers in qualifying at other tracks, so I think we have a really great opportunity for tomorrow as well. I think this is a really good start for the rest of the season and we need to be strong in qualifying [going forward]."

Kobayashi praised his team for its turnaround since Friday practice, when wet weather limited set-up time.

"Yesterday we struggled a lot and had no idea what we were going to do," Kobayashi added. "But in the hour practice this morning we tried some settings and we definitely improved for the better. We were confident we would be fast in Spa and after the summer holiday we wanted to have really good potential in the car. Over the next three months there are going to be nine races, but it's still very important for us and I'm very happy to have a good result here."