Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi will be extra determined to succeed at Sepang next weekend after an ultimately disappointing start to the F1 2011 season.
Kobayashi finished eighth in Australia, just behind his team-mate Sergio Perez. However both were excluded after the race when it was discovered by the stewards that the rear wing on the Sauber C30 contravened the regulations. While the Swiss-based outfit insisted no advantage had been gained, it has now decided not to challenge the ruling [see separate story - click here
]. Despite losing out on those precious points though, Kobayashi remains confident the Swiss-based outfit will be able to bounce back.
“I have good memories of the Sepang circuit since it was there I managed to get into the final qualifying session last year for the first time,” said Kobayashi. “After our good performance in Melbourne we are, of course, very motivated for the next race.
“The guaranteed higher temperatures in Malaysia, though, will make a big difference. I especially expect the tyre degradation to be significantly higher there, so this might result in different race strategies.
“Another challenge could be if we get a wet race, as this happens quite often in Malaysia. But we are now very confident about our performance after what we did in Melbourne. I hope we can continue like that with our pace.”
Sauber technical director James Key meanwhile concurs that the heat and the weather could play a big role in determining the result of next Sunday's grand prix.
“It's going to be an interesting event in Malaysia,” he added. “The weather conditions could well play a significant role during the weekend. It may be very hot with another step up in track temperature, and this will be new to everyone and the tyres. Or it could be wet, which would be a completely unfamiliar situation.
“So we have to see what happens and try to get the best out of whatever we face,” Key concluded.