"At times I was close to that as well but I never had the luck," he added. "It means so much to me that it finally worked out."
Kobayashi also admitted that he had genuinely been racing to try and retain his seat with the team in 2012, which had been in some doubt in recent weeks.
"Maybe I need not fear the pressure and enjoy it," he said. "When I have pressure I am always good. Maybe I need every time some pressure."
Kobayashi's team mate Sergio Perez sparkled early with a stunning overtaking move on Lewis Hamilton into the turn 11 hairpin on lap 7, but then fell back behind the McLaren during the pit stops and when he tried a second strike on the man he's replacing in the Woking squad, it all ended in tears - or at least in the gravel.
"It worked well when I got passed Lewis Hamilton for the first time on lap six, but then it didn't when I tried it again," Perez admitted. "Lewis went quite late to the inside and I had only room on the outside. But it certainly was my mistake.
"I feel very sorry for the team," he added.