• Japanese Grand Prix - Qualifying

Kobayashi eyeing podium at Suzuka

ESPN Staff
October 6, 2012 « Button admits McLaren 'just not quick enough' | Hamilton laments 'big mistake' with set-up »
Kamui Kobayashi: "I am happy because I think I achieved the maximum possible today" © Sutton Images
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Kamui Kobayashi is hoping to turn his third place grid position into a podium at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday.

Kobayashi set the fourth fastest time in qualifying but was promoted to third due to a grid penalty for Jenson Button. The Sauber driver set his time under a yellow flag but was not penalised as he backed off at the scene of the accident and he is now looking to score the best result of his career at his home race.

"I am happy because I think I achieved the maximum possible today," he said. "On my last lap I lost a bit of time because of the yellow flag when I backed off and switched off the DRS. I want to thank the team for the big step forward they have managed with the car since Friday.

"In the beginning we were struggling with the new parts but now we have got it right. After quite a few changes to the settings the car is fast again. From where I am starting I should have a chance to fight for a podium finish, and it would be a dream come true if I could achieve my first podium in Formula One in front of my home crowd."

Kobayashi started from the front row of the grid at Spa-Francorchamps and from third place in China, but on both occasions lost several places at the start. He said his main target would be to make a decent getaway from the grid.

"We'll do our best and for us the most important thing will be to make a good start because usually when I'm in a good position I have a big problem with the start. But hopefully it will work well."