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F1 community rallies round to help Japanese tsunami victims
F1 community rallies round to help Japanese tsunami victims
Posted By: James Allen  |  07 Oct 2011   |  1:07 pm GMT  |  20 comments

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.

A Photo Jessica Michibata posted of herself with Ecclestone puppet in Suzuka

Meanwhile a puppet of Ecclestone has been commissioned for sale to raise money and there are paintings of the five world champions in the field ready for auction, as well as items that Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton will be wearing during this weekend’s Grand Prix. Button’s red and white helmet is among the items.

“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.”

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How do u bid and jensons helmet help!


Uncle Bernie wants you!!

This is a very nice gesture by the F1 community and is sure to bring a lot of smiles to the tsunami victims.


Ummm the Puppet?

Is it life size?


Well done Bernie. For once the posts about Bernie are positive. And he deserves them.


Jenson’s girlfriend Jessica Michibata posing with Bernie Ecclestone’s twin Fernie in Suzuka

Tommy Nelan Esq

I hope there will be an online auction for one or two of the F1 items also. That would raise some extra money too I think.


Way to go Bernie. He may have a heart after all


Maybe I’ve just had a bad day but :

One wonders how much food, clothing or shelter couldve been purchased with the one million. I mean, if your home had been wiped out and you had no income, wouldn’t you be a little-bit nonplussed by someones offer of a seat at the grand prix ?

Anyways, best wishes to all the people of Japan in their ongoing recoveries and well-done to the F1 community for (1) keeping it in the spotlight and (2) assisting both financially and emotionally.


You’re right. You can also say it was to fill up the grand stands. Or that it would be more tickets or less money if the prices weren’t so high. But let’s not belittle an act of generousity. It’s advanced citizenship, organizations are well funded, and he’s giving the gift of joy and fun to those who could use some. We don’t just live on food and clothing as your presence here indicates.

We also don’t know what Bernie may or may not have done personally – donation wise to relief efforts when the disaster struck. Let’s not judge hastly. It’s an awesome gesture.


Even though 1M GBP is not much for Bernie, I have to say it is a generous act by the man. Organizations are probably well funded on the ground, and the people could really use some entertainment to take their minds off their troubles. Especially with all the rumbling about certain motorsports not even wanting to come to Japan.

Well done Mr. E.!


Sounds like for sure the F1 circus is safe to return to the Japan circuit for some years, if Bernie is investing in this way! 😉


Whoa, this is a amazing show of generosity especially from Bernie!

No kidding, I never thought Bernie had it in him *standing ovation from me*

Hmm, it seems Jenson & Vettel do lack in imagination for I recall Luizzi was the first driver to offer his helmet for auction.

But one driver who am most certain won’t give a single penny is that wonderful & selfless saint – Fernando Alonso!

Of course, no one can beat Schumi’s astronomical donation towards the victims of the 2004 tsunami to the tune of $25 million of his own money

I have to say, the Japanese people strength & courage to always be able to pick themselves up after such constant disasters is nothing short of astonishing.

If it were me, I would have left hell’s kitchen a long time ago!


Jenson and Seb are doing a good deed to help people affected by disaster and you’re whinging that they ‘lack imagination’. Wind your neck in.


Albeit a charity that he himself has set up.


Maybe slightly unrelated but the gold helmet Alonso wore at Singapore and Monaco is going to charity.

Mike from Medellin, Colombia

A puppet of Ecclestone….they should have auctioned off Flavio.


You’ve got to admire Bernie – tough businessman, but still has a strong compassion. James, do you know where you can buy the puppets?


I heard that the helmet Vettel is wearing this weekend will be auctioned after the race to raise money for the victims. I hope F1 will put a smile on the faces of the Japanese nation and bring happiness during this time.


That looks like a lifesize puppet of Bernie! 🙂


Wow, I hope they put that puppet on eBay to give everyone a shot. Just imagine the posibilities and play at home action!

If you win the puppet, you can make it say things like:

“We’re cancelling the pay TV agreement, F1 is back live free-to-air on BBC for 2012.”

“I’ve decided to lower hosting fees by 50% conditional on ticket prices also decreasing by 50%.

“Spa – will be on every year!”

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