Kamui Kobayashi is to stay with Sauber for the 2011 F1 season after the team revealed that it has extended his contact into next year.

The Japanese driver joined Sauber at the start of the year to partner Pedro de la Rosa and after a difficult start to the campaign, has secured a number of strong results as the year has gone on - with a best result of sixth at Silverstone.

Having displayed his speed during the season so far, Kobayashi has now been confirmed as part of Sauber's line-up for next year with a second driver to be named at a later date.

"We enjoy having our rookie as part of the team - both as a driver and a person," team principal Peter Sauber said. "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 was delighted to be confirmed for a second season with the team.

"We had a very difficult start to the season, but we've worked together to pull ourselves out of that situation," he 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 100 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."