Sauber is hoping that Kamui Kobayashi's impressive drive in the Japanese Grand Prix will lead to an injection of sponsor interest from his home nation.
Kobayashi was one of the stars of the race at Suzuka, as he pulled off a number of spectacular and aggressive passes to deliver more valuable points for the team with seventh place. With his performance having excited fans and the media, Sauber is optimistic that there could be commercial benefits off the back of it.
Sauber's managing director Monisha Kaltenborn said, "Ideally you want the driver from the country he comes from to give that kind of performance. I think he did a great job, because he had a lot of pressure from the public, and we could see the amount of media attention he was getting.
"It is an ideal situation to have for the Japanese market. We understand the economic difficulties, especially in Japan, but we hope this performance can give them a push to support him."
Although Kobayashi made contact with other cars during his spirited drive, Kaltenborn said she was not too concerned that his efforts would end in him crashing out.
"When you see him do these kinds of things, for a minute you are a little worried and you hope that all goes well," she explained. "But on the other hand, you expect him to fight. We expect him to do these things – and he is, of course, quite daring."