Kamui Kobayashi believes he could have finished on the podium in the Spanish Grand Prix if he hadn't been unable to take part in Q3 yesterday.

14654 - Podium was possible - Kamui Kobayashi

Having qualified in the top ten, Kobayashi stopped out on track at the end of the second part of qualifying and therefore couldn't set a time in the top ten shootout. After Lewis Hamilton's penalty Kobayashi started ninth, but he said that he would have been able to challenge for a top three finish if he had started from a higher grid position.

"The team did a really great job, and the update on our car works very well," Kobayashi said. "The pace in the race was a big improvement compared to the last race. I absolutely believe I could have made it onto the podium today if I had not been so unlucky in qualifying yesterday. If you start ninth you can be happy finishing fifth, but the car had more potential."

Kobayashi said that fighting in traffic also hurt his pace, and pointed to Pastor Maldonado's victory as an example that the team can fight for victories if it maximises a race weekend.

"I was in traffic and overtaking was not easy. I could not do it on the straights with the help of the DRS because there I wasn't close enough. So I had to take some risks and do it in the corners. I damaged my tyres quite a lot in the last stint. The competition is really tight at the moment. If you want to get in front of the pack you have to get everything right on the weekend. This is what Pastor did. The last time I came fifth was last year in Monaco, and I am very much looking forward to returning to the Principality soon."