Kamui Kobayashi believes podium finishes could be in the cards in 2010 – but said he could still not be sure exactly where Sauber stood despite its impressive testing times so far.
The Swiss team was second only to Ferrari at Valencia last week, and Kobayashi then jumped to the top of the times with his final lap at Jerez today. When asked if he felt Sauber could be quick enough to win in 2010, the Japanese driver reckoned his inexperience ruled that out – but said he wants to be in a position to snatch podiums if the big teams falter.
"I'm still a rookie. There are many tracks I don't know in Formula 1, so this makes quite a big difference," said Kobayashi. "Even after three or four hours' practice and qualifying it's still not easy.
"Possibly, we have chance for me to have some podiums, but otherwise it's very important to always score points. Not 10th or ninth, always stay like fourth to eighth – this is really important for us. Then maybe if some cars crash or if there is some action, I can have a podium."
Kobayashi was pleased with his time today, especially as he described his fuel load at the time as "not super-light," but was unsure whether his pace was truly representative.
"It's very difficult to say, track conditions are always changing, and with different fuel loads," Kobayashi said. "Just at the end I had a good time but it's still difficult to say where we are. Definitely we have a good position at the moment, but it's still difficult to say where we are. We have to be optimistic and we have to work really hard, focus on improving our car and communicating with the team, and just wait until Bahrain."