Monisha Kaltenborn has denied that Kamui Kobayashi needs sponsorship in order to retain his Sauber race-seat…
Monisha Kaltenborn has denied that Kamui Kobayashi needs sponsorship in order to retain his Sauber race-seat.
At present, Sauber have confirmed only one driver for next season with Nico Hulkenberg replacing the McLaren-bound Sergio Perez.
However, the team has several drivers wanting their second seat including Mexico’s Esteban Gutierrez who has the support of Sauber sponsor Carlos Slim.
This prompted some speculation that Kobayashi required financial backing in order to save his seat, something the Japanese spoke of at length.
Sauber, though, insist this is not the situation.
Asked whether Kobayashi needed sponsorship, Kaltenborn said: “No.
“We didn’t even do that at the end of 2010 when, with regards to running the team, we were starting from scratch again.
“At that time we took him for his pure skills and he brought no sponsor along. We got nothing.
“So I don’t think it’s right to now suddenly make it an issue, and there is no pressure on him. It’s about what he does on the track.”
The new Sauber team boss added that Kobayashi would be judged on his three years with the team and not on his performance in the final two races of this season.
“We’re not going to take the last two races and see if he is good or bad, whether it’s a plus or a minus point. That’s not fair to him.
“He’s been with us three years now and we know him very well.
“When he came into Formula One we gave him the trust required – without any baggage – to show he is a very talented driver.
“From that perspective he should know the teams knows him well and trusts him.”