Sauber technical director James Key believes Kamui Kobayashi still has a good chance to salvage something from the Turkish Grand Prix despite a fuel system problem preventing him from setting a time in qualifying.
The Japanese driver will start 23rd once Jerome D'Ambrosio's grid penalty is applied. But Key reckons that with Kobayashi's famous overtaking ability and a plentiful supply of fresh tires available as he did not contest qualifying, a race day charge is in prospect.
"We sent him out early to check the car, but then he had a sudden drop in fuel pressure," Key explained. "It looks to be fuel problem on the high pressure side which we need to investigate because it's something we haven't seen before. That was a shame for Kamui.
"That presents him with a big challenge for tomorrow, but he's a fighter and he as a lot of new tires. There are still opportunities in the race."
Kobayashi did not entirely share Key's confidence.
"Although I like overtaking a lot, I must admit there are an awful lot of cars between me and the first point," he said. He nursed the car back to the garage when the problem developed, but soon realized there was little that could be done.
"I went out to do a first run right when Q1 started because I wanted to check another setup option. But then on the middle of the back straight the engine suddenly stopped. It was a problem with the fuel system," added Kobayashi. "I hoped to make it back into the garage but I stopped before the pitlane entrance. Anyway, for me the session would have been over even if I had make it into the garage because it takes a lot of time to change the fuel system.
"I have to accept that it was bad luck for me and I want to do a good race tomorrow."