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Kobayashi confirmed at Sauber for 2011

ESPNF1 Staff
September 7, 2010 « Pirelli to use F1 tyre in GP2 | »
Kamui Kobayashi will stay at Sauber in 2011 © Sutton Images
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Kamui Kobayashi will hold onto his Sauber race seat in 2011 after extending his contract with the team.

Kobayashi made his F1 debut at the end of 2009 with Toyota before being snapped up by Sauber ahead of the 2010 season.

"We enjoy having our rookie as part of the team, both as a driver and a person," team principal Peter Sauber said. "We never had any doubts about working with him again in 2011.

"Kamui has definitely fulfilled our expectations in terms of his speed and fighting spirit. Plus, his work with the engineers and his technical understanding has also developed very well. The experience he has built up over his first full season in Formula One will certainly stand him in good stead for 2011. And our aim is to give him a fast and reliable car from the outset next season."

After retiring from six of the first eight races this year, Kobayashi has gone on to score 21 points, 15 more than more experienced team-mate Pedro de la Rosa.

"We had a very difficult start to the season, but we've worked together to pull ourselves out of that situation," Kobayashi said. "I feel very much at home in Peter Sauber's team and am very pleased we'll be working together again in 2011. However, for now I'm focusing 100% on this year. There are still six grand prix weekends to go in 2010, and we'll be hoping to make up more ground."

The statement added that the second driver for 2011 would be announced at a later date with de la Rosa reportedly in talks to retain his seat.