• Japanese Grand Prix

Kobayashi happy to entertain home fans

ESPNF1 Staff
October 10, 2010 « Button rues tyre strategy | »
Kamui Kobayashi enjoyed plenty of support © Sutton Images

Kamui Kobayashi said he was pleased to have entertained his home fans after a thrilling drive punctuated with opportunistic overtaking manoeuvres saw him finish seventh in the Japanese Grand Prix.

"I tried my best and I am very happy," said Kobayashi. "It was a great race for our team, and I'm very pleased for the Japanese fans who have watched an exciting race. It is the second time we have got both cars in the points, and for me it was really something to come back here and race for the first time after seven years in front of my home crowd. Nevertheless it was a very tough race today.

"After the start I saw the accidents in front of me, and I was really lucky not to be hit. Later it was not too easy to overtake and I had some contact. The car was damaged, but it was not too severe and I was able to finish the race. I really want to thank the team for the great job and the fans for their fantastic support."

Team-mate Nick Heidfeld followed his team-mate home in eighth as Sauber recorded its best finish of the season.

"I'm quite happy - it is the best result for the team this season. In the end I could have finished one place higher, but I was on a different tyre strategy to Kamui and he was obviously faster with his fresh option tyres," said Heidfeld. "I started on the option tyres. Obviously I was meant to push really hard in the early laps, but then the safety car came out and later I got stuck behind Rubens (Barrichello).

"The team did a very good job by calling me in early for the change to the prime tyres. Compared to Singapore, we made good progress in race performance. For qualifying, I think, there is more to come. I'm looking forward to the three remaining races."