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Sauber extends contract for Japan’s Kobyashi

The Swiss-based Formula 1 motor racing team Sauber has announced it will retain driver Kamui Kobayashi for the 2011 season.

Kobayashi, aged 23, is currently 12th in the standings with 21 points. His best finish was sixth place in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Peter Sauber, the team principal, said that in his debut season Kobayashi had “definitely fulfilled our expectations in terms of his speed and fighting spirit”.

“Our aim is to give him a fast and reliable car from the outset next season.”

Kobayashi retired in six of the first eight races but has since improved consistently.

The team, which is based near Zurich, says it will announce its second driver at a later date. The current driver, Pedro de la Rosa of Spain, has only six points.

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