Kobayashi agrees to stay at Sauber for 2011

Japanese rookie Kamui Kobayashi will stay at Peter Sauber’s team for next season, it was announced today.

Speculation over the Japanese’s future had been fevered earlier in the year after a few under-par performances, but his efforts in recent races such as Valencia have strengthened his claim to the seat.

“We enjoy having our rookie as part of the team – both as a driver and a person,” said team principal Peter 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.”

Kobayashi himself acknowledged it had not been easy at the start of the year, but was confident he would now improve.

“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 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.”