Kamui fans (who isn’t one) will be very chuffed to hear that the awesome overtaking Japanese driver is now to start the grand prix from 7th on the grid, rather than his original 10th position, following a reshuffle by the FIA.
It’s gone a bit wrong recently with the tyre situation somewhat ruining the final qualifying battle as drivers opt to stay in the pits and save some fresh rubber* for Sunday rather than fight over the top 10 grid slots.
Unlike in Singapore where it was only the Force India drivers that remained in the garage, in Japan, Schumacher, Senna, Petrov and Kobayashi didn’t set times in the final round of qualifying – however, Kobayashi did try to, but then aborted his attempt and so he’s now classified as being ahead of the other three no-time drivers.
Official FIA comment:
But the FIA sporting regulations split those who don’t record a time during qualifying sessions into three categories to determine the grid order. Drivers who attempt to set a time by starting a flying lap are ordered first, followed by drivers who leave their garage but don’t start a flying lap and finally drivers who stay in their garage. Within each group, drivers are then arranged in numerical order.
Unlike Schumacher, Senna and Petrov who didn’t complete qualifying attempts, Kobayashi did start a flying lap which he subsequently aborted. Thus Kobayashi and Schumacher will make up the fourth row in seventh and eighth respectively, while Senna and Petrov will be on the grid’s fifth row in ninth and tenth.
Great news for Kamui, what with this being his home grand prix – if the Sauber has any pace in it, he’s the man to use it and take the fight to the others – podium for Kamui on Sunday? We can’t rule it out… and his local loyal fans won’t either: