Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi was 'very happy' after making it through to the top-ten shoot-out today in qualifying for the F1 2010 Singapore Grand Prix.
Kobayashi had struggled a bit in final practice, but he did just enough to edge through to Q3 for the fourth time this season and he will now start the 15th round in the championship from tenth.
“I am very happy. I managed to do a couple of good laps in qualifying. In free practice on Friday I didn't find it easy. For me the track was new and it obviously is a challenging one, as well as a special one with the heat and the lights.
“But I also wasn't happy with the car in free practice [this morning]. The team did a great job though in improving it, so in qualifying it was good and I think my result is the best we could achieve today.”
New team-mate Nick Heidfeld meanwhile qualified 15th in the sister C29, although he will start 14th as Nico Hulkenberg will drop five places due to a gearbox change.
The German was a bit disappointed, but it wasn't a bad performance, especially when you take into account this is his first race this year.
“I am not completely happy. I hoped for more and I think I didn't get the most out of the car. But perhaps this wasn't realistic considering the fact I only drove this car yesterday for the very first time with these tyres,” he noted.
“There is a lot to learn and I'm sure we will be benefitting from it soon. I'm not too pessimistic for the race, because the long runs in free practice under race conditions were quite good. Let's see what we can do tomorrow.”
Sauber's technical director James Key added: “Kamui put in an outstanding lap in Q2 to make it into the top ten qualifying. It was always going to be tough to do that here today, but he extracted the full potential out of the car and the tyres, so it was a great lap.
“For Nick it was fairly close, but he only had a single lap to get his time because he had a problem on his first lap. He had to learn incredibly quickly this weekend, so the way he got back into qualifying after such a long time was a good job. We saw great work from the team and a fantastic lap from Kamui. I expect we can fight for points tomorrow.”