Sauber technical director James Key said he was pleased to salvage a points finish from the German Grand Prix after a difficult qualifying session at the Nurburgring.

Kamui Kobayashi had started 17th on the grid after failing to make it past the first stage of qualifying, although he was moved up a place on the times when Sebastien Buemi was excluded from the results.

A strong start saw the Japanese racer climb into twelfth on the opening lap and a strong two-stop strategy worked to his advantage as he managed to take ninth - despite admitting his pace 'wasn't strong enough' on race day.

"My start was good and then I was able to gain some positions in the first few corners of lap one," he said. "This was nice. I had been 17th on the grid and was in 12th after the first lap. But then it was difficult because our pace just wasn't good enough here. The fact that we have scored points is down to a very good pit stop strategy, I want to thank the team for an excellent job.

"I was able to overtake both Williams during the race, but it was impossible to get Michael (Schumacher). He was way too fast on the straights. However, I'm happy we managed to score after a bad qualifying, and hope we will be performing better at the next race."

Team-mate Sergio Perez finished just outside the points in eleventh place after an off-track excursion forced him to change his strategy and pit early for the first time and technical director Key admitted it had been a tough weekend for the team.

"It hasn't really been our weekend, but it's great to salvage some points from the race," he said. "Kamui drove an excellent race, made the most of his tyres and quite tricky track conditions at the start, controlled it well and was able to defend his position against Vitaly Petrov. I think P9 was good.

"Sergio was pretty competitive as well. Unfortunately he had a spin in the opening laps of the race which put him behind. He did a lot of laps on the soft tyres and made them count, so he finished 11th just outside the points. Overall it's good to salvage something, but we have a bit of work to do for the next events just to get back on top of our performance again."

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