Kamui Kobayashi has been praised by his rival F1 drivers for his battling performance in the Japanese Grand Prix.

Kobayashi provided the late entertainment in the race as he stormed through the field to finish in seventh place having elected to run a long opening stint before switching to the option tyres.

It marked a return to the top ten for the Sauber driver after retirements at Monza and in Singapore and the late charge drew praise from two of his rivals on the grid.

"What Kamui did with his car was super," Renault's Robert Kubica, an early retirement from the race, told the Swiss press. "Because I had to watch on television, he saved my day."

Toro Rosso's Sebastien Buemi was also quick to praise Kobayashi - even going so far as to say he was disappointed at not being able to fight with the Japanese driver on track.

"It's unbelievable," he told Blick. "No matter what his car is like, Kamui always gives everything.

"For many, he is a model with regards to the fighting spirit, even if of course such overtaking moves don't always go well. Unfortunately he came out from his pitstop just ahead of me. It's a shame, because I love a tough fight with a really strong driver."


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