Despite opening Sauber's points account with tenth place in the Turkish Grand Prix, Kamui Kobayashi
has urged the Swiss team not to stop pushing for bigger and better things.
Reflecting on the result at Istanbul Park, which saw Sauber benefit from Sebastian Vettel's unexpected exit after clashing with Red Bull
team-mate Mark Webber
on lap 40, Kobayashi admitted that Sauber cannot be happy with simply getting onto the scoreboard, especially having dallied with the three newcomer teams - and only them - for the first six rounds of the season.
"We had some very difficult situations in the previous races, so it was really nice to bring both cars home in Istanbul and get this point," Kobayashi admitted, "The team did a really good job this weekend, but it is only a single point, and that is not something we should be satisfied with. It can only be the first step."
The former GP2 Asia Series champion confided that he had been happier to make the final phase of qualifying for the third time this season than he had to pick up the point in Turkey, acknowledging that Sauber may still be scoreless had Vettel and Webber not clashed so spectacularly.
"Definitely qualifying means more to me because it shows my true performance," he explained, "In a race, you can always benefit from somebody else's misfortune or have an issue yourself. That makes the race result something different. Qualifying is about pure performance, and I think, if we get everything right, we always have a chance to get into the final qualifying session.
"In general, I feel we are now on the right path. The way we work together and are attuned to each other has improved, and it was so nice to see the mechanics in Istanbul smiling for the first time after the race! Until then, I had only seen disappointed faces on Sunday nights. Sometimes, it was not easy to dispel bad memories, but motivation has never been a problem. I love going racing and our targets were always realistic. We wanted to score points and we're not dreaming about winning races the next day. With this positive feeling, that everybody will now pick up on, and our improvements to the car, I'm sure we will be doing better in the future."
The future may not necessarily include the Canadian Grand Prix, however, as the next stop on the F1 schedule takes Kobayashi to a venue he has not visited before.
"Canada will be a new track for me," he confirmed, "I don't even know it from the simulator and have to learn it in free practice. Obviously, other drivers will have an advantage here, but I don't see it as a problem. I have only four complete races under my belt in F1 – two last year and two this year, and this is not a lot. I really have to work hard and learn many things - tyre management, for example. I was too hard on the tyres early on in Istanbul so, in the end, I could see the canvas on the right front tyre. This is something you have to learn to think about, it takes experience."