Kamui Kobayashi successfully made it through to the top-ten shootout today during qualifying for the Malaysian GP.
Kobayashi, who had been ninth in final practice this morning, maintained that momentum this afternoon, and although he was the slowest of the ten runners in Q3, he is optimistic he can score on Sunday. Indeed he was reasonably pleased with his performance and felt he had pretty much got the maximum from his Ferrari-powered Sauber C30.
“I'm quite happy with today's qualifying. Of course I was hoping to improve a bit on my very last run, especially as, unlike in Melbourne, I had a set of new soft tyres left. But I think there wasn't more to get out of the car today,” said the Japanese driver.
“Nevertheless the team had done a very good job improving it after some problems yesterday. We found some things overnight, in free practice this morning we still struggled a bit, but then we knew what to do.
“It was here in Sepang last year where I reached Q3 for the first time in my F1 career. The race will be very interesting, especially in terms of tyre degradation in the heat. I am certainly aiming for points.”
Team-mate Sergio Perez meanwhile failed to make it through to the final session and will line up 16th in the sister C30. His best lap was a 1m 37.528s.
“I am a bit disappointed,” said the F1 2011 rookie, “because we had the potential for Q3 if I had got my final lap right. On my second run in Q2 I was caught in traffic on my out lap. On the flying lap sectors one and two were fine, but in sector three I had no front grip and the car was understeering a lot.
“Now I hope we have a good race strategy as I'm still aiming for points' which, of course, is not easy from where I am starting. It will be a demanding race, but I'm looking forward to the challenge.”