Kobayashi relishing Interlagos return

Brazilian Grand Prix

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Kamui Kobayashi says he is looking forward to returning to Interlagos, the scene of his F1 debut for Toyota last year.

The Sauber driver said:

In 2009 I drove my first ever Formula One race in Brazil when I stood in for Timo Glock at Toyota. I didn’t expect much because I didn’t know the Interlagos track and I hadn’t driven an F1 car in dry conditions for eight months.

It was a difficult situation for me, but I just believed in myself and my goal was to make no mistakes and finish the race. It’s a nice track which is physically very demanding. In the 2009 race it was tough for my neck, especially in the last corner which is extremely long and has high g-forces. The track is also quite technical, but for me the main aspect was the physical one. Of course, this will not be a problem again this year.

The weekend was very special for me in every respect. The weather conditions changed constantly, and it was almost impossible to work on the set-up. We just changed tyres time and time again, and I tried to complete as many laps as possible in practice. I’m very much looking forward to my second Brazilian Grand Prix.
Kamui Kobayashi

Team mate Nick Heidfeld has had mixed experiences at the track, including a bizaree incident with the medical car in 2002:

I have many special memories from Brazilian Grands Prix. In 2001 I achieved my first podium in F1 with Sauber. It was in the rain and it was unforgettable and emotional.

In 2002 all of a sudden there was a medical car on the track, which wasn’t supposed to be there. The fractions of a second when I was hoping the driver would not step out of the car’s door he had just opened seemed to me like an eternity. I wouldn’t have had a chance of avoiding hitting him. Luckily he didn’t get out.
Nick Heidfeld

Technical director James Key explained the difficulty of getting the set-up right on the track ahead of next week’s race:

The C29 will be the same specification it has been in previous events, but we obviously have several set up options to consider.

One of these is the downforce level. In Interlagos you either gain on the straights or in the corners of the windy infield section, so we will have to strike the right compromise. Because of this we will have to watch our top speeds, but also the balance and grip level of the car in the second part of the lap.

Our car’s strength should be to deal with the front tyre wear. Regarding the mechanical set up, we will have to consider the track’s bumpy surface and also watch for a change of direction and good front end grip, with traction being important at the end of the lap into the uphill section.
James Key

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    16 comments on “Kobayashi relishing Interlagos return”

    1. In 2002 all of a sudden there was a medical car on the track, which wasn’t supposed to be there.

      That sounds like one of those “funny insurance claims”, which goes “I drove into the drive of the wrong house and hit a tree I didn’t own”

      Stupid choice of words, though, Of course it was supposed to be there, it was the scene of the accident. Nick forgets the reason he hit in the first place was because he lost control and he should have been able to see it anyway: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uC4pb8cGJk8

      Anyway, Kobayashi isn’t the only one relishing his return to Interlagos. A genuine overtaking track, it should be a good one for him.

    2. Wow. Hard to believe that Kobayashi has now done a full season.

    3. Can’t wait to see him there again, especially if he’s going to do some bold overtaking moves that he’s become famous for. Easily rookie of the year and I reckon so far he’d make my top 10 drivers of the year list.

      1. I agree – Rookie of the Year for Kamui. He’s probably climbed into my top 5 favorite drivers for the year.

        Go Kamui! Looking forward to seeing you race.

        1. I just want to see him in Red Bull or Ferrari or Mclaren in the future. He will be or is the icon of many Asian F1 fans.

    4. Three things comes to my mind when I think about 2009 Brazil race.
      1. The ICEMAN catching fire.
      2. Button singing on the radio after becoming WC
      3. Another but rare natural talent (Kobayashi)

      If he gets the right direction & backing from his country (Sponsor) then he will go a lot far .

      1. I remember Kobayashi very well. And Sutil almost fighted with Trulli. Did Kobayashi overtook Button there?

        1. Other way round. Though Kobayashi got his own back in Abu Dhabi.

          1. @RobertG

            Trulli & Sutil had a crash in turn 4 or 5 I guess. He was defending Button very aggressively & chopped his country mate Nakazima.

      2. That was antother special race in Brazil. I think Kobayashi should probably have got some sort of penalty for the agressive move on Nakajima, but he was a real revelation to see in action.

    5. To this day I can’t fathom how Kobayashi escaped a penalty for his block on Nakajima last year. That incident could have been a hell of a lot worse than it was. Certainly not beating up on him, I think he’s a fantastic talent, just that it still boggles my mind how he managed to get away with it.

      1. I agree. When I saw that live I just couldn’t believe that no one objected to him cutting across the track to block him.

    6. Yeah, it’s where Kobayashi got his ‘Krazy’ moniker. The guy went Kamakaze on his countryman, surprised he got away with it but probably because he was a rookie and Nakajima was a finished man as far as F1 was concerned anyway…

    7. I think the medical car driver needs a permission to get to the track and that time it didn’t have it. It was parked on the first corner and therefore the ones in the car could see the accident on their own eyes.

      Alex Ribeiro was almost immediately sacked from the job of medical car driver after that incident.

      But then, the medical response in many cases in F1 has been poor, especially when Ralf Schumacher crashed at Indianapolis in 2004.

    8. So, Brasil (or Bresil if so preferred) and Kobayashi and anything to do with overtaking is worth our attention. If Kobayashi continues with doing the good work he has done, he’s a master and a hero. Someone else is the champion but he’s the master.

    9. Even more reason to look forward to this race! :P

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