Kamui Kobayashi has praised Sauber for the way in which the team battled back from a difficult start to the 2010 F1 season.
The team failed to score a point until the Turkish Grand Prix in late May, with Kobayashi retiring from five of the six races prior to Istanbul.
However, the Japanese driver saw his fortunes turn round after a seventh place finish in Valencia and sixth at Silverstone as he went on to score points in seven of the final eleven races of the year – leaving him as top rookie in the standings.
Sauber ultimately ended the campaign in eighth place in the constructors' championship, ahead of Toro Rosso, and Kobayashi insisted the team could be pleased with the way it bounced back from a trying start to the year.
“We had a lot of ups and downs, but overall we had a good season,” he said. “In the beginning we were struggling a lot. This was a pretty bad time. It was hard, and it was very difficult to recover from this situation during the season, because nowadays there is no testing.
“Despite this, towards the end of the season we were much stronger. The team did a great job to recover from this and I want to thank them for all their work.”
Towards the latter stages of the season in particular, Kobayashi drew praise for his battling performances on track – most notably on home soil in Japan where he stormed through the field late on after running a long first stint on the prime tyre.
He admits however that there is no secret when it comes to his ability to overtake his rivals.
“Because I am Japanese I have small eyes – so I can't see the others guys!” he quipped. “[Seriously], If I feel I can overtake I just do it. That's all, no secret.”
Having partnered Pedro de la Rosa and Nick Heidfeld this season, Kobayashi will be the lead driver in the Sauber line-up for 2011 and he admitted that his main aim for the new season was to remove the mistakes and improve his championship position.
“My personal aim is to make zero mistakes,” he said. “For the team I hope we will have a good car, and be able to fight for points on a regular basis to improve our position in the championship.”