Peter Sauber believes Kamui Kobayashi's strong performance in the European Grand Prix proves the team is not lacking in driver talent.
Kobayashi made the most of a decision to stay out during the early safety car phase in Valencia to run third for much of the event, before a storming recovery after a late pit stop saw him overtake both Fernando Alonso and Sebastien Buemi to take seventh place.
And the way he was able to keep hold of third for much of the race, and fight back at the end, proved to Sauber that Kobayashi has what it takes to succeed in F1 and that his outfit has to work harder on improving its car's weaknesses.
"The performance was very, very important," Sauber told Autosport. "It shows that Kamui is fast, consistent and he is able to fight hard for the last laps of the race. Before, he had no possibility to show his talent, and for me there was still a big question mark about how good he was as a rookie. What he did in Valencia was therefore impressive.
"On the other hand, you can only drive such a race with a good car – and now we have to find the right setup to be faster in qualifying. Of course, Kamui needs time to develop in all situations – that is clear. But now I know he is fast. I think that's very, very important – and for me it is really excellent."
Sauber believes that the Valencia result also provided a big boost to his team ahead of the second part of the season.
"For the team, it is like a new start," he said. "And for sure it makes it easier for me to speak to potential sponsors, because the last eight races were a nightmare."