• Japanese Grand Prix

Result doesn't change Kobayashi fate

ESPN Staff
October 8, 2012 « Lotus needs to get Grosjean 'under control' - Horner | Alonso under 'real pressure' - Whitmarsh »
Kamui Kobayashi's third place was his first podium in Formula One © Sutton Images

Kamui Kobayashi's third place at the Japanese Grand Prix will not change whether he is retained by Sauber or not, according to Monisha Kaltenborn.

After it was confirmed that Sergio Perez would join McLaren next season, Kobayashi's future has also become the subject of speculation. Having secured the first podium finish of his career at his home race, Kaltenborn was asked what the result would do for Kobayashi's chances of being retained by Sauber but she said the team did not want to put more emphasis on one race.

"We'd already said before the race actually that we don't really want to boil it down to this one race and how he does here," Kaltenborn said. "I think we know him very well and we know his qualities well. He's had a lot of input in to the development of this car so we can judge all that well and this podium is just so nice for him because he's finally got it through and deserves it.

"Of course we've been looking at drivers and we are evaluating that internally but we won't rush ourselves in to any decision and we still have enough time in the season."

Kobayashi himself, however, admitted the importance of the result. When asked if he felt like he was driving for his career, Kobayashi replied: "Yes, of course.

"But sometimes I need to use pressure, it's not to fear too much; maybe I need to enjoy it, but the last ten laps were very tough!"