Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi is relishing the prospect of returning to the scene of his first F1 points at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi this week.
The event is known for its unique setting and for being the only 'twilight race' on the F1 2011 calendar. It is a one-off challenge that Kobayashi thinks will bring about an excellent Grand Prix, even if last year's race was far from a classic.
“I like the fact that it is a twilight race. This makes it even more exciting for the spectators and also very demanding for us,” stated Kobayashi as the team builds up to the penultimate event of the 2011 season.
“The challenge doesn't really come from the changing light, but the track temperature drops significantly when the sun sets. This makes it quite difficult to adapt during the race. I also like the track layout and I think it is an exciting event and race for everybody.”
It is a track that holds good memories for Kobayashi, as he scored his first F1 points at the track in just his second Grand Prix with Toyota two years ago.
“Abu Dhabi is the track where I scored my first three F1 championship points when I came sixth back in 2009. It was only my second Grand Prix, and for sure I will never forget that,” he confirmed.
A repeat performance would be a welcome boost for Kobayashi this coming Sunday. Sauber have struggled to keep pace with their rivals in the latter half of the year and Kobayashi in particular has struggled, failing to pick up any points since before the summer break, although he still lies 12th in the drivers' championship thanks to his early season form.
by Philip Barclay