Posted on January 31, 2014


What a difference four days make. We’ve gone from that slightly eerie day one silence, which was only sporadically broken by the sound of a car heading out for a single lap before gingerly returning to the garage, to a cacophony of V6 engines pounding out laps here in Jerez today – unless, of course the power unit in the back of your car was a Renault. It was always going to be a fascinating week, but few could have predicted just how many talking points would crop up as the days wore on. A nightmare start for Renault; questions More…

Posted on January 31, 2014


As the first pre-season test of 2014 drew to a close at a gloomy Jerez and the teams began to pack up and contemplate the warmer climes of Bahrain at the next test on February 19, it was Felipe Massa who topped of the timesheet, the Williams driver finishing ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Force India’s Daniel Juncadella. And for Red Bull Racing there will be much to contemplate, as the team again ended running early. After completing seven laps in the morning, with Daniel Ricciardo again at the wheel, the team encountered mechanical trouble. Deeming the issue unresolvable More…

Posted on January 22, 2014


The announcement that Kamui Kobayashi is returning to the F1 grid this year with Caterham was greeted positively by F1 fans and it was noticeable in the Caterham factory yesterday how buoyed the team were with his signing. Kobayashi lost his place on the F1 grid in 2013 because he couldn’t rustle up a budget, with Japanese businesses unwilling to find him. He has returned on a deal whereby he appears to be racing effectively for nothing, with Caterham believing that preferable to running a pay driver with less talent and pulling power with fans. Now he’s regained his place, More…

Posted on January 21, 2014


Caterham boss Tony Fernandes has said that his team’s failure over the last four years, particularly 2013 where the team finished last out of 11 teams, has made his team stronger. Announcing his driver line up of Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson at a launch event in the team’s Leafield HQ this morning, Fernandes said, “It’s a critical season. Most people have written us off. From failure you draw some strength. “Frankly we have to try to do something different. We haven’t performed as a team since I started this team and we have taken something of a radical approach. More…

Posted on October 8, 2012


His future at Sauber is still not clear, but Kamui Kobayashi certainly made sure that the fans in Suzuka felt part of his success, by celebrating with them last night and again this morning at another event. Of all the F1 drivers Kobayashi is probably one of the most active at giving something back to the fans, especially in Japan. He took part in the FOTA Fans Forum at Woking last year and again in Japan this year and has organised many engagements with fans in Japan. “I’ve been busy since the race was over,” he said in a statement More…

Posted on August 4, 2012


Sauber CEO Monisha Kaltenborn has credited the growing maturity of the team’s two young drivers as a key factor behind its transformation this season into a competitive Formula 1 force. Aside from its heavily-funded BMW era in 2006-2009, the Swiss outfit has been the epitome of a perennial midfield runner since entering the sport in 1993, with only six podium finishes achieved either side of its manufacturer-owned period heading into this season. However this year enjoying the benefits of what Peter Sauber has already described as the best car ever made at Hinwil, Sergio Perez has added a second and third place More…

Posted on May 17, 2012


Kamui Kobayashi has said that the new aero package Sauber put on the car in Barcelona has made it easier to drive and to get results from and he believes he can better his fifth place result from Monaco last season. The Japanese driver had another strong drive in Barcleona on Sunday with two stunning overtakes as he fought his way up from ninth on the grid to 5th at the flag. He now has 19 points from five races. “Our new aero package was working well. It is definitely a step forward,” he said. “I think we have improved More…

Posted on August 14, 2011


Kamui Kobayashi has won many fans in his brief F1 career to date for his swashbuckling style; not just his signature bold overtaking moves, but also his defensive driving, which has also been very effective. I’ll put my hands up and admit I love Kobayashi as a racer, he’s top quality entertainment and I love his spirit in a car, which reminds me a little bit of Jean Alesi. Alesi made a big impression in a midfield Tyrrell car and ended up in a Ferrari, something which many fans would like to see happen with Kobayashi. It would be an More…

Posted on July 28, 2011


The Sauber team has announced that it will run the same drivers next season; Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez. It’s a logical decision and one made with Sauber on the front foot, as the Mexican connection with telecoms billionaire Carlos Slim has brought financial stability to one of F1′s most efficiently run teams. But they’ve got more than a pay driver in Perez; “Sergio has achieved more than one could expect from a rookie,” said Sauber. “From the very first race he proved that he is capable of driving not only fast but consistently as well. And after the accident More…

Posted on July 1, 2011


Here is the video highlights edit of Lewis Hamilton and Kamui Kobayashi’s appearance at the FOTA Fans Forum UK event at McLaren. Fans wanted to know all about the pair’s prowess at overtaking and the two drivers did not disappoint. “What does it feel like to actually pull off a fantastic overtaking manoeuvre?”, Hamilton was asked. His reply: “It’s exhilarating. It’s probably the most exciting part of the race, when you’re not too fast compared to the guy in front. You’re just creeping up on him and looking to see where he’s weaker so that you can attack next time More…

Posted on June 30, 2011


FOTA Fans’ Forum, UK. Part 2: Drivers by James Allen on F1 You can listen to all of the audio from this afternoon’s FOTA Fans’ Forum discussion involving Lewis Hamilton and Kamui Kobayashi on the SoundCloud link above. Predictably, fans’ questions largely revolved around their prowess in overtaking. Although one fan asked Hamilton what question he would ask Ayrton Senna if he had the chance. “I’d ask him how he managed to qualify a second ahead of the rest in Monaco that time,” said Hamilton. Both drivers agreed that of the three aids to overtaking in F1 today, KERS tyres More…

Posted on December 6, 2010


Last night I went to the Autosport Awards at London’s Grosvenor House hotel, the annual end of season get together for the UK motor sport industry. It’s changed little over the years, my old ITV colleague Steve Rider still presents it; gently and respectfully taking the mickey out of many of the great names of the sport. Last night the two stars of the show were Kamui Kobayashi and Sebastian Vettel. Kobayshi was there to collect the Rookie of the Year award, previously won by Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Vettel. Strictly speaking Kobayashi wasn’t really a rookie this year More…

Posted on November 2, 2010


Today we are launching a new feature on the JA on F1 website – an online auction to raise money for the Grand Prix Mechanics Trust. I’m delighted to say that the first item we have under the hammer is a signed set of F1 racing overalls from one of the fans’ favourite drivers, Kamui Kobayashi. These genuine Sauber racing overalls, manufactured to exacting F1 safety standards, from fireproof material by Puma, have be worn this season by Kamui and he has signed them. Just to buy a set of unbranded Puma overalls of this standard would cost over £1000, More…

Posted on September 7, 2010


Kamui Kobayashi has done enough to secure his place in Formula 1 with Sauber for 2011, the team announced this morning. The 23 year old Japanese driver has proved a firm favourite with fans all over the world for his fighting spirit and although we didn’t see much of it in the early part of this season, when the Sauber car was disappointingly slow and unreliable, in recent races he has been able to show a little of his flare. He has 21 points on the board from points finishes in Istanbul, Valencia, Silverstone, Budapest and Spa. A highlight was More…

Posted on December 17, 2009


Peter Sauber has always been a big supporter of talented young drivers. And in his latest guise as a reluctant team owner – having taken back his team from BMW – he is backing his instincts and giving Kamui Kobayashi a drive for 2010. It was announced today that Kobayashi will drive for BMW Sauber, as the team has not yet had its name changed. Kobayashi made a big impression in his two Grands Prix at the end of the season, not having driven an F1 car for seven months when he got the call up from Toyota to replace More…

Posted on November 1, 2009


For the second race in a row, Kamui Kobayashi has set the place alight with some bold driving and given the lie to the theory that F1 is too tough for rookie drivers. He finished sixth today, ahead of team mate Jarno Trulli. Starting his second Grand Prix in 12th place, he was the second best placed of the cars on a one-stop strategy today, after Kimi Raikkonen, but he finished well ahead of the Ferrari driver. His strategy brought him into contact with Jenson Button again. The pair had had a battle in Brazil, after which Button said Kobayashi More…



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