Kamui Kobayashi thinks Sauber could be in the hunt for a podium finish at the Monaco Grand Prix with the team having delivered a good step forward in pace with its latest update.
The Japanese driver bounced back from a hydraulic issue in qualifying for Spain, which left him ninth on the grid, to finish fifth. He reckons the team can expect even more on the streets of Monte Carlo.
"I think our car will be better in Monaco than it was last year, because it has improved in slow corners," said Kobayashi. "In 2011 I finished fifth, so the target should be to finish higher up this year. However, even if you are given the best car in Monaco, in the end a lot is down to the driver to get the ultimate tenths of a second out of it."
Kobayashi thinks the nature of the current season, which has seen five different teams winning the first five races, points to the fact that Sauber too can fight for good results if it delivers a perfect weekend.
"We have seen five different winners in five races. So you could say almost everything is possible this year," he explained. "I believe we have a good car and good chances for good results.
"The final outcome always depends on a lot of factors. But what you have to do for success is to get every small thing perfectly right over the entire weekend. And this is what I'm aiming at."
Speaking about the improvements to his C31 that were delivered in Spain, Kobayashi said: "I think we have improved in the areas we wanted to. The car is better balanced through the corners now. In terms of stability I would say it is about the same, but stability always depends a lot on the track conditions."