Many F1 drivers and F1 commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone have got behind the efforts of Kamui Kobayashi and others to raise money for victims of the tsunami, which devastated areas of Japan earlier this year leaving over 20,000 people dead or missing.
The 80 year old F1 boss has bought 3,000 tickets for this weekend’s race at an average price of 35,000 yen to give to people who have suffered through the disaster. The total bill is almost £1 million.
“We hope to put a smile on a few people’s faces,” said Sebastian Vettel.
The Sauber is carrying a message of support for the people of Japan, while Kobayashi has invited a choir from the affected region to sing the national anthem at the Grand Prix. He has organised their transport, tickets and accommodation.
“The way the country has recovered so far is impressive,” he said last month. “This is because Japan received a lot of help from outside and also because the Japanese are very strong people and have given each other an awful lot of help and support.”