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Kobayashi defends Montreal drive

Kamui Kobayashi fends off objections to his driving style in the Canadian Grand Prix.
Kamui Kobayashi insists that he was not driving dangerously in the Canadian Grand Prix, despite claims from two rival drivers.

The Sauber driver was accused by both Nico Rosberg and Nick Heidfeld of deliberately braking or lifting off the throttle while they were following close behind the C30 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, but Kobayashi maintained that he was struggling to keep his car on the driest part of the track as the weather played havoc with the race.

"If you want, I can show you the data," he pleased, "Off the line, because only the car is able to stay on the track and I was really pushing. The front tyre lost the clean line and I couldn't change the car's direction. I just had to wait, otherwise I would be completely on the wet part. I tried to do the best thing, but this was coming from a bit of overdriving."

Mark Webber, who was involved in a spectacular aerial accident in last year's Valencia race after vaulting over a slower car, was asked about the accusations, but sided with Kobayashi.

"I think people at hairpins are always trying to mix up the pace a little bit, particularly in Canada," he explained, "Michael [Schumacher] was also doing a good job to make the rhythm a little bit different each lap, and that's normal. Obviously, hitting the brakes is a different story - if you're a bit later or a bit earlier on the throttle, that's part of racing but, if you're playing with the brake pedal, it's obviously not something that we all agree to. I'm sure he's not playing these tricks."

Asked whether he could expect to challenge for another points finish in the European GP, Kobayashi, who went on to finish seventh in Canada, admitted that there were a lot of variables to be evaluated before predictions could be made.

"I think it is most important how we handle strategy and tyre management, but I think, this year, it is a different tyre with Pirelli," he reasoned, "I think I try to do my best but I think, last year, I made a mistake in qualifying. This year, I try to do the best in qualifying, but we have to fight for the best strategy in the race. I think this year, with Pirelli tyres, it is very important [that] we manage race pace, so we are definitely focusing more on race than qualifying.

"I always want to get points. At the moment, we [have] managed to score points [everywhere] except Melbourne, so I think we have done a really great job. The team are doing good and still we are confident until the end of the season to be in the points."

Tagged as: Canada , Sauber , Kamui Kobayashi

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
12.06.2011- Race, Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia and Kamui Kobayashi (JAP), Sauber F1 Team C30
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12.06.2011- Race, Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP R31 touches Kamui Kobayashi (JAP), Sauber F1 Team C30
23.06.2011- Press conference, Kamui Kobayashi (JAP), Sauber F1 Team C30
Antonio Giovinazzi - Sauber F1 Team
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