Kobayashi retains Sauber seat for 2011
Japan's Kamui Kobayashi has retained his seat at the Swiss-based Sauber team for 2011, meaning he will stay on in the sport for a second full season next year. Kobayashi joined Sauber in December 2009 following the sudden withdrawal of Toyota from Formula One, and has proven his worth this year with a string of strong performances in the C29.
Kobayashi arrived in Formula One with significant single-seater experience, and won the GP2 Asia Series crown in 2009. Later that year, when Timo Glock was injured at the Japanese Grand Prix, he was drafted in to replace the German at Toyota for the final two rounds, and was expected to be signed to the team for 2010 until the car giant pulled out last November.
"We had a very difficult start to the season, but we've worked together to pull ourselves out of that situation," began Kamui. "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 one-hundred per cent on this year. There are still six grand prix weekends to go in 2010, and we'll be hoping to make up more ground."
Team principal and owner Peter Sauber said there was never any doubt about Kamui retaining his seat for 2011. "We enjoy having our rookie as part of the team - both as a driver and a person," says Sauber. "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."
The team will announce Kamui's team-mate at a later date, amid rumours that Mexico's Sergio Perez will replaced Pedro de la Rosa.