Kamui Kobayashi is expecting Sauber to be 'quite competitive' at the Turkish Grand Prix next weekend.
Kobayashi brought his Sauber C30 home in tenth place in China last time out and another top-ten - his third in a row - will definitely be the goal next Sunday in Istanbul, a venue where he scored his first points for the little Swiss-based team twelve months ago.
“After spending some time in Tokyo I'm very much looking forward to the race in Istanbul Park,” said Kobayashi. “It is an exciting track and one of my favourites.
“Last year our performance was pretty good there, and we scored our first point when I finished the race in tenth. It was a relief for us and this feeling is still a nice memory.
“There are a couple of high speed corners which I like, and I feel we should be quite competitive in Turkey. However, the corner I like most is the triple left hander which forms turn eight.
“Regarding tyre management, I find it difficult to predict how the situation will develop. The grip level at this circuit is normally very low, which means the cars tend to slide a lot.
“I believe it will be crucial to save the front tyres in particular so the wear is as low as possible.”
Sauber technical director, James Key meanwhile concurs that the tyres could play a pivotal role: “It will be another interesting event for the tyres, because the famous turn eight is one of the high speed corners of the year with the highest loading of the tyres. Although we have seen some high speed corners at the last two events, I think this is by far another step beyond that,” he added.
“It will be interesting to see how well the tyres cope with that in terms of wear and degradation. This could result in some alternative strategies in the race, but we will not know until we get there.
“Overall this track offers a good mix of different corners. We expect quite reasonable weather conditions, with it not being too hot but in a better window for us than Shanghai was. Tyre management could be the key to the weekend of the Turkish GP,” he summed-up.