Kamui Kobayashi warned not to pay too much attention to his time-topping performance in Barcelona testing on Friday. However, he believes Sauber looks capable of achieving consistent points finishes and has made strides with its reliability.
The Japanese driver set the fastest time of the Catalunya testing week yesterday morning with a lap in 1m22.312s.
"It's testing – it's better than nothing and it's better than last, for sure, but I don't think this is a real result," he said. "I don't believe it is, and I know more than anybody what the situation is. I don't think McLaren and Red Bull are slow..."
After some concerns about reliability in the first test at Jerez, Kobayashi felt Sauber had gotten on top of its teething troubles by Barcelona.
"It's pretty good. I think we could do a little bit more but we had a moment with an exhaust problem and we lost a little bit of time," he said. "Overall, I think it was a very good test here and a very good program. We did two races' mileage in one day, which is good.
"We have a couple of issues, but they're getting much less and this is a good sign. They're only small reliability issues, which is good."
Kobayashi does not expect big improvements for the final test back at Catalunya next week.
"It's not easy to find new parts in one week, but it's important that we do more on setup and do more long runs on heavy fuel. I think this will be key," he said, adding that he was taking a realistic approach to Sauber's prospects for the 2012 Formula 1 season.
"We have to be very stable. I think when we are good we have quite good pace for our team and can be scoring points," said Kobayashi. "We don't really wish for wins or podiums, for us this is a bit too far away. To be realistic for us, we want to be consistently scoring points."