Kobayashi in good spirits ahead of home race at Suzuka

1 Oct

Kamui Kobayashi expects Sauber to return to form at his home grand prix on the fast and technical Suzuka circuit this weekend (Sun 7 Oct).

A podium finish on the ultra-high speed Monza circuit for Sergio Perez meant expectations were high as the Hinwii-based Sauber team arrived in Singapore. However, the C31 was relatively uncompetitive throughout the weekend, with Perez scraping a solitary point for tenth and Kobayashi finishing down in a lowly 13th place at the end of an arduous two-hour race.

Despite the Singapore disappointment, spirits are high at Sauber as it prepares for the upcoming Japanese Grand Prix. Kobayashi expects to be in the mix for a strong result in front of a passionate home crowd, especially as his team plans to introduce a host of new aero upgrades, including a revised front-wing.

“I’m very much looking forward to my home grand prix at Suzuka,” said Kobayashi. “I think our car should be very fast there and we also will get new parts on the C31.

“I am confident about getting a good result in front of my fellow countrymen. Last year I qualified seventh on the grid, but then had a problem at the start and only finished 13th.”

In 2011, spectators remained in the grandstands for hours after the race to celebrate Sebastian Vettel’s second consecutive world title and Kobayashi praised the Japanese fans’ commitment, saying: “The Japanese fans are great and the mood and atmosphere they create is an enormous support. And it is not only me who they cheer for!

“They are true Formula One fans and that is why I’m really proud of them. Nowhere else will you find the fans being at the circuit so early in the morning and staying for so long at night, no matter what the weather is like.”

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