Kobayashi aims for zero mistakes in 2011

2010 F1 season

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Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Abu Dhabi, 2010

Kamui Kobayashi says he’s hoping to build on his 2010 campaign with an error-free 2011 season.

Sauber published the following Q&A with the Japanese driver:

How would you summarise your season?

Kamui Kobayashi: We had a lot of ups and downs, but overall we had a good season. In the beginning we were struggling a lot. This was a pretty bad time. It was hard, and it was very difficult to recover from this situation during the season, because nowadays there is no testing. Despite this, towards the end of the season we were much stronger. The team did a great job to recover from this and I want to thank them for all their work.

In which area did you improve the most?

KK: In every area. This is how it has to be, especially if you are a rookie.

What was the best moment of 2010 for you?

KK: I think I had an interesting race in Japan. It was a very nice moment for me and for the Japanese fans.

Which was the worst experience?

KK: That was when I crashed on the first lap of the Canadian Grand Prix.

What is your secret for overtaking?

KK: Because I am Japanese I have small eyes – so I can’t see the others guys.

…and seriously?

KK: If I feel I can overtake I just do it. That’s all, no secret.

What do you want to achieve in 2011?

KK: My personal aim is to make zero mistakes. For the team I hope we will have a good car, and be able to fight for points on a regular basis to improve our position in the championship.

What will you do in the winter break?

KK: I have some appointments in Japan and I will be returning to Abu Dhabi soon for the opening ceremony of the Ferrari World. I will also spend two weeks on holiday in Bali and, of course, I will be training. But in terms of fitness training, it helps that nowadays we have more time during the season to exercise because it is also very important to be able to do this consistently.

If you had a free wish – what would it be?

KK: This is an easy one to answer. In Japanese Mangas there is a kind of ‘where-do-you-want-to-go-to’ door. You decide where you would want to go, step through this special door and you are there. This would be a great thing to have – I could have a beautiful house anywhere in the world, maybe on a nice island, and sleep there every night!

Read more: Kamui Kobayashi biography

Image © BMW Sauber F1 Team

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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61 comments on “Kobayashi aims for zero mistakes in 2011”

  1. future WDC :)
    Your comment was a bit too short. Please go back and try again.

    1. if he gets the car, yes.

      and i bloody hope he does :P

  2. I have small eyes!! Ha ha ha..

    Hope to see him on the podium in the 2011 season. Reading his answers would make for an interesting press conference.

  3. What is your secret for overtaking?

    KK: Because I am Japanese I have small eyes – so I can’t see the others guys.

    Holy god, a personality. Haven’t seen one of them in F1 for a while.

    1. Kamui Kobayashi is fast becoming one of my favourite drivers, he’s a demon on the track, and he seems to have a great personality.

      1. +1 for that!

        I hope he finds himself in a winning car in a couple of years.

      2. I can only agree with that, personality next to the track, overtaking warrior on track. Keep it coming!

      3. Agreed! He quickly became one of my favorites and I look forward to watching him next season. GO KAMUI!

        1. +1, me too.

          The most entertaining driver on track this year for me.

    2. Alonso has a personality… Thats why he is so hated :P

      1. Yeah, but Kobi has a nice personality.

        1. Hahaha! That made me laugh almost as much as the original article!

    3. That gave me a great laugh, Kobi seems as lively and interesting off the track as he is on it…

      Would really love to see him on the podium and in the hunt for a championship (or 5)

      1. Absolutely.

        +20 Kobayashi. Fast, skilful, funny, full of energy. Put him in a Red Bull after next year.

    4. Of course he’s got personality. He originally wanted to be a professional comedian.

  4. Me too, been following him since his debut with Toyota, what a character.

  5. Hahaha, that is one of the most hilarious comments from a driver I have heard in awhile. I hope to see and hear more from koby next year.

  6. There for the opening ceremony of Ferrari World eh…

    I wonder if Massa’s seat might just have a Japanese occupant for the 2012 season…?

    1. I would have a guess and say its more to do with the Ferrari engine in the back of the Sauber.

    2. That would be so great.

  7. I miss Kimi a lot in F1 for sure if Kobayashi gets a good car under him I don’t think I will for too long.

  8. Kobayashi will kick some western ass soon.

    1. Is he going to race in the US?

  9. This guy could of raced in the 70’s.

    Charming, cavalier, funny, fast and dating a lingerie model.

    You can tell he loves life.

    A lot of Japanese people could learn from him!

    1. Who is he dating??

  10. He’s a funny guy. But I can’t agree that he improved all that much this season compared to the great races he had for Toyota. Spectacular, but still slow, especially in qualifying.

    1. You don’t think the car might have something to do with that?

      The Toyota might not of have been very successful for the cash, but it was a very good F1 car.

      This years Sauber on the other hand…

    2. how many times did he out-qualify his team mate?

  11. Zero mistakes? Yeah right, he’s not that good. If he went to Ferrari he would get his ass handed to him every race no question from Alonso. Massa is a better driver than Kobayashi anyway.

    1. RIISE, your last comment there obviously doesn’t take into account how felipe was rubbish in his early year, and only showed promise once he had resided as a Ferrari Test Driver for a year….

      Kobayashi is 10 times the Rookie Massa once was, and with the same amount of training and experience Koba has the possibility to be greater than many of his rivals, he just need to be in the right team, and if marketing gets in the way, Japanese drivers might not be very desirable in F1 high profile seats…unfortunately

      1. I’m going to disagree, did you even watch F1 when Massa first joined? He pulled out some great results for Sauber.

        Kobayashi won’t change, he’ll cause crashes and cost teams valuable points.

        1. He has already changed. After an erratic and often crazy start to the year he pulled his head in and only had one more accident in the second half of the season.

        2. @Carsvschildren
          how was his start to 2010 crazy?
          In Aus, a tiny hit meant his front wing got stuck underneath him causing that massive shunt.

          Canada was his only big mistake.

          al the other retirements in the first half were due to gearbox or engine failures.

          1. CarsVsChildren
            25th November 2010, 0:10

            Sorry, poor compositional English!

            I meant ‘crazy’ in the sense that the start to the year was crazy. Not that Kobayashi was crazy.

            One minute it was him showing some amazing speed, other times he was involved in massive shunts, or retiring with car/engine trouble.

    2. Zero mistakes? Yeah right, he’s not that good.

      Kobi said that his personal aim is to make zero mistakes. A business will never have zero wastage, but that won’t stop them from trying minimising it.

      1. From trying to minimise it.

    3. Come on, that’s not fair. Alonso’s just finished his 10th season, and Kobayashi, bar two races, has done just one. And in that one season he’s impressed pretty much everyone and that’s leaps and bounds ahead of what the other’s have done. And yeah, there’s a chance Felipe is better than Kamui at the minute – he’s miles more experienced. Besides we don’t know anything until they’re both in the same car!

      Don’t mean to have a go, it’s just a bit hard to come down on the kid and I think zero mistakes is a good target – why not?

  12. and massa has been driving in formula 1 for how many years? exactly.

  13. Massa is better in playing second driver. Kobayashi is siutable fol no.1, and I believe in future he will eat Alonso.

    1. I believe in future he will eat Alonso.

      I hope so.

      1. I’m sorry, I have just had a rather amusing mental image of various bits of Alonso being served up on a sushi-bar-esque conveyor belt! :-D

  14. Always a pleasure to watch and i’m really looking forward to watching him progress.

  15. Btw, in case someone doesn’t know what manga/comic the ‘where-do-you-want-to-go-to’ door comes from, it’s from Doraemon. It’s one of the classic manga. The animated version (anime) is still ongoing and already reached 2000+ episode.

  16. A question – how many cars did Kobayashi overtake on used tyres? It makes a huge difference when a car is on a fresh tyre and the guys in front are on 30 or more laps old rubber… So, a miracle overtaker called Kobayashi is a bit overrated, I think… In UAE we saw how important is to have a good strategy… Kobayashi changed it that time (starting on option, then using prime) and he was nowhere, ended even 2 places down compared to qualifying…

    1. And he is btw. list of drivers with most overtakes this season /overtaking of Lotus, Virgin and HRT cars is not included/

      01 Hamilton – 27
      02 Sutil – 25
      03 Alonso – 22
      04 Webber – 19
      05 Vettel – 17
      06 Massa – 17
      07 Liuzzi – 15
      08 Alguersuari – 14
      09 Kobayashi – 13
      10 Button – 12
      11 De La Rosa – 11
      12 Rosberg – 11
      13 Barrichello – 11
      14 Petrov – 10
      15 Buemi – 10
      16 Schumacher – 10
      17 Kubica – 9
      18 Kovalainen – 6
      19 Glock – 5
      20 Hulkenberg – 5 !!!

      So “master” Kobayashi is only at 9th position…

      1. That chart does not tell the whole story.

        First of people like Hamilton and Vettel were racing through the pack making up positions in superior machinery, therefore gaining a large number of positions with minimal resistance.

        Furthermore an overtake on new tyres vs old tyres is still an overtake. I presume you are referring mainly to Valencia with his awesome move on Alonso. The only reason he was in a position to make that overtake is that he had looked after his tyres more effectively, and had allowed himself the opportunity to take advantage of the situation.

        To me that is far more impressive than screwing up qualifying, or making a mistake in the race and having to carve your way back through the field in a Red Bull or McLaren.

        Plus the dude was driving the F1 equivalent of a 1993 Corolla and yet he still managed some awesome moves.

        Plus he’s cool.

      2. Still beat Button

      3. “Number of overtakes” lists are totally meaningless. They do not differentiate between overtakes, and I guess we all have some idea about how vastly varying the stakes and the difficulty (thus the quality of the pass) can be.

        I consider Kobayashi a good overtaker because many of his passes were reasonably difficult and relatively high stakes.

        I mean, obviously not as high as “overtaking for the lead”, but neither stuff like passing backmarkers with a top car, or battling it out for 23rd place.

    2. Passing when you have fresh tires and your quarry does not is academic? Fernando Alonso would brand that an Interesting Theory after Abu Dhabi.

      About Kobayashi, it’s not just his stats but his style. He is not afraid to go in with all four tires smoking and get repassed again. He will just try it again. Often enough, the pass sticks.

      1. CarsVsChildren
        25th November 2010, 0:12

        Agreed. Extremely well put.

  17. This guy has proven you can have a personality and be good enough at PR all the way through the season, and his interview always make me laugh. He’s been my favourite driver on the grid for a while now. Legend.

  18. I already liked Koby, but this just makes me love him all the more. I literally laughed out loud at his overtaking response X)

  19. @marco

    You also have to include such conditions of the time he has been overtaken. If some driver makes mistakes and is overtaken yet he has a superior vehicle then it only makes sense that he can overtake it back.
    Rosberg, Hulk and Kubica are all consistent and good drivers but their cars lack the pace to overtake the car ahead but they wont make errors that would cause them to lose them in the first place .

    1. Hulk is consistent? In what area? Often he just dropped many places in race compared to qualifying… And in a whole season he overtook less cars tne Glock or Kovalainen, which is a horrible statistics… And he had many chances to do it starting quite often out of the top 10… Also many of Kobayashi s manouevres were on fresh supersoft tyres, which are definitely much better then a 35 laps old hard tyres… This was an example of Valencia, Japan and Brazil… Car in front was just helpless and disadvantaged…

      1. I’m not going to say Hülkenberg was particularly consistent or not, but man, you come across as a glass half-empty kinda guy :)

        With respect to Hülkenberg’s performance, I think you have to take into consideration the fact that the mid-field battle was for large parts of the season much closer than it ever was at the front. The cars’ performances from the different teams were much more similar than the RBR’s .5 to 1s+ advantage over Ferrari and McLaren. So he was always going to move a bit more during the race, especially since the Williams was quite a good qualifying car, but usually less fast in the race.

        For the same reason, I think Kobayashi’s number of overtakes is quite impressive. New tyres or not, he did overtake the Ferrari of Alonso for example and the Ferrari was definitely the quicker of the two cars in Valencia. I too, have been really impressed with his whole attitude towards the racing and the interviews alike. I hope he manages to actually progress into faster cars in the coming years :)

  20. Can’t wait to see what Kobayashi can do next year, I hope he can get a podium next year he deserves it.

    I have noticed that many people like to say that Kobayashi is a poor qualifier, or he crashes all the time and he can only overtake on fresh tyres. Personally I think that is a load of rubbish.

    Kobayashi isn’t even bad in qualifying, this season he has qualified around 12th or 13th most of the time along with some Q3 apperances, that’s not bad if you ask me.

    Kobayashi doesn’t crash that much either, the only crashes that he triggered himself that I can remember were in Canada and Singapore.

    As for overtaking abilities, he may overtake mostly on fresh tyres, but I don’t see many of the other drivers overtaking on fresh tyres, most of them never overtake cars that are of similar performance.

  21. Fine, lets say the Hulk is inconsistent. Would you say the same about Kubica and Rosberg?

    “Car in front was just helpless and disadvantaged…”

    The same applies to most of the drivers when overtaken by Alonso, Hamilton etc. Unfortunately overtaking cannot represent a drivers ability because if you are willing to take tires into consideration you must also include the cars ability itself. There is no denying that some drivers in slower cars could be able to take on the likes of Vettel and so on, but we cant see their talent because most only look at the front running cars. I dont want to be discredit your chart because its based on facts but conditions are not all the same for all the drivers.

  22. Go Kobi-yeshi! future WDC!!

  23. kobayashi is the guy and he has a sense of humor.
    I hope to god that sauber have a faster car for next year so that we can see him racing at the front.

    Just picture him and vettel facing of on the track

  24. Kamui is a Beast on track! Having the testicular fortitude ( that some may confuse with temerity) to challenge Jenson as he did last season, said all that was needed about this guy! I predict as others have said he will be awesome in a competitive car… Hopefully, the sauber will be at least a bit better next year.

  25. I absolutely love this guy. Very funny, bags of personality and a proper aggressive racer.

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