Kamui Kobayashi had a difficult start to what will be his first full season in Formula One. He suffered from technical problems, and was the innocent victim in accidents which forced him to retire from five out of the first six races. But in the seventh Grand Prix he hopes he has seen the light at the end of the tunnel. By finishing tenth in Istanbul the 23-year-old Japanese scored the team's first championship point of the season.
What does scoring this point mean to you? Kamui Kobayashi: "The team did a really good job that weekend. We had some very difficult situations in the previous races, so it was really nice to bring both cars home in Istanbul and get this point. But it is only a single point, and that is not something we should be satisfied with. It can only be the first step."
What means more to you: making it into the top ten in Qualifying for the third time or in the race for the first time? KK: "Definitely qualifying means more to me because it shows my true performance. In a race you can always benefit from somebody else's misfortune or have an issue yourself. That makes the race result something different. Qualifying is about pure performance, and I think if we get everything right we always have a chance to get into the final qualifying session."
How did you motivate yourself when you retired again and again? KK: "Sometimes it was not easy to dispel bad memories, like the accident that happened in Melbourne after I lost the front wing, but motivation has never been a problem. I love going racing and our targets were always realistic. We wanted to score points and we're not dreaming about winning races the next day."
What do you expect from the next races? KK: "Canada will be a new track for me. I don't even know it from the simulator and so have to learn it in free practice. Obviously other drivers will have an advantage here, but I don't see it as a problem. In general I feel we are now on the right path. The way we work together and are attuned to each other has improved, and it was so nice to see the mechanics in Istanbul smiling for the first time after the race! Until then I had only seen disappointed faces on Sunday nights. With this positive feeling, that everybody will now pick up on, and our improvements to the car, I'm sure we will be doing better in the future."
What are the most important things you still have to learn? KK: "There are many! I have only four complete races under my belt in Formula One - two last year and two this year. This is not a lot and I really have to work hard and learn many things - tire management, for example. I was too hard on the tires early on in Istanbul so in the end I could see the canvas on the right front tire. This is something you have to learn to think about, it takes experience."
How is your working relationship with your team mate Pedro de la Rosa? KK: "Pedro is a very nice guy, and with all his experience he is a really good team mate for me. I'm the rookie, he knows everything and he shares it with me."
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