23.07.12

Kobayashi : "We could have finished higher"

Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi admitted he was pleased with his fourth-place finish at the German Grand Prix but said that if he and team-mate Sergio Pérez had qualified better they could have scored even more points.

Kobayashi started the race in 12th position and climbed through the pack to eventually finish fifth but after the cheqeured flag was elevated to fourth when Sebastian Vettel was given a 20-second penalty for illegally passing Jenson Button while off track during a tussle for second position. The punishment dropped Vettel to fifth. 
 
“I am very happy for the team that we have managed to get a good result again. We have been unlucky in the two most recent races, and also had a bad qualifying yesterday," said Kobayashi. “The performance of our car, especially in the dry, is really strong. If we only had qualified better we could have achieved even more today.”
 
Pérez, meanwhile, started 17th having been hit with a five-place grid penalty for impeding both Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen in Saturday’s qualifying session. In the race, however, the Mexican powered through the field to eventually finish sixth. Afterwards, however, he said he had been hampered by a possible puncture which may have prevented and even better finish.
 
“My strategy was a little bit compromised because I had to do my first pit stop a bit earlier than planned,” he said. “I felt something strange on the left hand side of the car – perhaps it was a puncture – but I don't really know yet what it was. This obviously meant we had to extend the later stint and I ended up with quite old tyres.”