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Kobayashi encouraged by front row start

NEWS STORY
02/09/2012

Mat Coch writes:

Kamui Kobayashi became just the second Japanese driver to qualify on the front row when he set the second fastest time during yesterday's session.

The Sauber driver had been quickest in the rain interrupted opening practice session on Friday, and continued that form as conditions improved on Saturday.

"Spa is one of our favourite tracks, but we didn't expect to be second," said Kobayashi at the end of yesterday's qualifying session. "Normally we struggle in qualifying and in the race we are not really worried, but this is where we wanted to improve."

Both Kobayashi and teammate Sergio Perez qualified well, and with the Sauber C31 known for being gentle on its tyres the pair could be a factor in the latter stages of today's race.

"We need to look at tyre management," Kobayashi warned. "We need to take a little bit of care, and we need to finish the race.

"This is really a good restart for the rest of the season," he added. "If we can get on the podium tomorrow then that is something good."

In 2004, BAR driver Takuma Sato qualified second at the Nurbugring for the European Grand Prix.

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