Kamui Kobayashi has revealed his 'pride' at being selected to compete for Sauber in the F1 2010 World Championship, whilst team-mate Pedro de la Rosa confessed that following three years away from the grand prix grid, at the age of 38 he finally 'feels like a proper racing driver again'.
Maintaining his philosophy of employing a blend of youth and experience on the driving front now that he has re-assumed control of his eponymously-named outfit from previous owner BMW, Peter Sauber has brought together one of the most exciting prospects to arrive on the F1 scene in recent memory in Kobayashi, and in de la Rosa a man whose seven years spent test driving for multiple world champions McLaren-Mercedes should help to hone the Japanese ace from a rough diamond into a shining star. Both men are palpably up for the challenge that lies ahead of them.
“I'm very proud that Peter Sauber has shown so much faith in me,” enthused Kobayashi, who stunned regular observers with his raw pace and aggression in his two end-of-season outings for Toyota last year. “I'm determined not to disappoint him. My aim is that he will end up being proud of me as well.”
Kobayashi might have made the points only second time out in his fledgling career at the highest level with a combative sixth place in the 2009 Abu Dhabi finale, but de la Rosa has not been in the points since his last appearance in the top flight for McLaren at Interlagos in Brazil in late 2006. Still, age shall not whither, the veteran Spaniard assures – and indeed if anything, the break from racing has only served to increase his hunger for the fight.
“At last I can feel like a proper racing driver again,” the Barcelona native stated. “I've really missed the competition out on the track. At the same time, though, I've learned a lot technically and on the systems side, and now I want to bring that knowledge to the team.”