Sauber boss reasurres Kamui Kobayashi over his future

 

Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn has told Kamui Kobayashi he is under no pressure to bring in sponsors to secure his seat for next season.

Kobayashi expressed hope last month of securing backing to aid his cause in holding on to a drive that has been his with the Swiss-based team for the past three years.

The Japanese driver has proven himself capable, if a little erratic on occasion, with the latter characteristic often drawing his future into doubt.

Although Sauber are on a more secure financial footing than they were at the end of 2010 when BMW withdrew their support, that would not stop them from heading down the pay-driver route.

Reserve Esteban Gutierrez remains favourite to take the second seat at Sauber, who last month appointed Nico Hulkenberg as replacement for McLaren-bound Sergio Perez, given the considerable amount of Mexican sponsorship on the car.

Despite that, Kaltenborn insists Kobayashi, who has scored almost as many points this season as he has the previous two and who trails Perez by only eight in the current standings, is not on trial going into the last two races in Austin on Sunday and then Sao Paulo.

"We're not going to take the last two races and see if he is good or bad, whether it's a plus or a minus point. That's not fair to him," said Kaltenborn, speaking to Press Association Sport.

"He's been with us three years now and we know him very well.

"When he came into Formula One we gave him the trust required - without any baggage - to show he is a very talented driver.

"From that perspective he should know the teams knows him well and trusts him."

Asked specifically whether Kobayashi required sponsorship to retain his seat, Kaltenborn replied: "No.

"We didn't even do that at the end of 2010 when, with regards to running the team, we were starting from scratch again.

"At that time we took him for his pure skills and he brought no sponsor along. We got nothing.

"So I don't think it's right to now suddenly make it an issue, and there is no pressure on him. It's about what he does on the track."

Kobayashi is at least playing his part in Sauber enjoying their best season for a number of years, away from BMW's four-year influence from 2006-2009.

Sauber have pulled 29 points clear of Force India in the battle for sixth place, and now have Mercedes in their sights just 12 points ahead of them as they look to pinch fifth.

"You should never say you are in a comfortable position because you never know what can happen, and especially looking at Sao Paulo where you can be really surprised by the outcome," said Kaltenborn.

"More importantly we have closed the gap a little to the front. We know it's still going to be very tough.

"But looking at what we feel are the characteristics for the next two races, we have the confidence to fight for this position."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
people
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West, performing in New York last week, has been the subject of controversy as rock's traditional headline slot at Glastonbury is lost once again
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living