Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Suzuka, 2012

Kobayashi could lose Sauber seat without sponsor

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Suzuka, 2012In the round-up: Kamui Kobayashi could lose his seat at Sauber next year unless he can find a sponsor.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Kobayashi in need of a sponsor (ESPN)

“It’s very strange to need to find a sponsor to drive for another team or [to drive] here. At this moment of course the money is very important but basically I really want to be one of the top drivers with a good team. I want to be in Formula One and that’s what I was dreaming of when I was young.”

Best yet to come, says upbeat De Villota (Reuters)

“I want to keep fighting because I believe so strongly in women being part of motor racing.”

Today programme, 11th October 2012 (Radio 4; Skip to 2hr 33min)

McLaren have won the right to appeal against a ruling which stated they could not claim tax exemption on the ??49m ($100m) fine the FIA handed them in 2007.

Korean GP: Second? I’d rather be fourth, says Kimi Raikkonen (DNA India)

“I’d rather be probably out of second and third place so I don’t have to go to the prize-giving. It makes no difference to be second or fifth if you don’t win.”

Raikkonen pins hopes on upgrade (BBC)

“We do everything we can but we have to improve and we haven’t scored very good points on the previous races. But we have still been scoring points and keeping ourselves in the championship.

Marussia better for Glock than Toyota (F1 Pulse)

“Once in 2009 at the Nurburgring, on Thursday night I came back to the hotel at 11-11:30pm and I realised I am already completely exhausted before the real weekend or my real job started because on Thursday I had from 9am until 10pm with half an hour break in between.”

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button smooth over F1 cracks at McLaren (The Guardian)

Lewis Hamilton: “I made a mistake. I tried as hard as I could to get hold of Jenson but I think he had a night out so I couldn’t get hold of him. So I sent a message, he replied and accepted it. The first thing I did here was to go and apologise. Perhaps Twitter is not for me.”

Nothing certain in F1 (Sky)

Martin Brundle: “I’m told by several people involved that through [Romain Grosjean’s] junior Formula racing he was hard on a car and incident prone. He probably does need the help of someone like Sir Jackie Stewart although it would have been better if this was public afterwards rather than beforehand.”


Comment of the day

@John-H thinks McLaren may have already thrown the championships away:

When you look at the mistakes, McLaren have really thrown this championship away due to poor operational performance. The car is quick and the drivers are quick. Improving pit stops was a success, but why were there such big problems there in the first place?

As much as I dislike Red Bull, you have to give them credit for filling up the cars with fuel correctly and practising how to change four wheels before the season starts. They deserve both championships much more.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to F1abw!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Michael Schumacher won a strange Japanese Grand Prix 15 years ago today.

With Jacques Villeneuve facing likely exclusion from the event following a yellow flag infringement in practice, the Williams driver held up the field in the opening stages, hoping someone would overtake his principle championship rival.

The plan backfired when Schumacher’s team mate Eddie Irvine got ahead of the Williams, allowing him to hold up Villeneuve and help Schumacher pass via the pit stops. That done, Irvine handed the lead of the race to Schumacher.

Heinz-Harald Frentzen split the two Ferraris before the end of the race but with Villeneuve not scoring Schumacher carried a one-point lead into the final race at Jerez.

Image ?? Sauber F1 Team

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  • 133 comments on “Kobayashi could lose Sauber seat without sponsor”

    1. That photo is fantastic!

      1. And the question is, did Karthikeyan take the photo? ;)

        1. No idea. There are several drivers missing from the photos – Schumacher, Raikkonen, Petrov and Pic – in addition to Karthikeyan.

          1. People are already reading way too much into who was sitting next to whom – so are the missing drivers the ones who won’t be back for 2014?!

          2. @prisoner-monkeys

            Is Kimmi not sat to the left of Daniel Riciardo????

            Or is that Pic?

          3. @bullfrog

            People are already reading way too much into who was sitting next to whom – so are the missing drivers the ones who won’t be back for 2014?!

            No, I’m just pointing out that there are five drivers missing from the picture. Why are they missing? I have no idea.


            Is Kimmi not sat to the left of Daniel Riciardo????

            It’s Hulkenberg, actually.

            1. @prisoner-monkeys Old joke I recall, but maybe Kimi was having a…

            2. Right you are, my bad

      2. I agree, a really nice photo!

      3. Looks like fun, I´m will give everything to be there ;)

        1. @celeste

          My exact thoughts!!..These guys look like a bunch of lads down the local for a pint!

      4. I imagine the the end of the meal: Kimi had two deserts but I only had coffee; Michael had a whole lobster; who ordered the garlic bread; I’m not paying for that.

        Hopefully it’s not a farewell dinner for Kamui.

        1. “Kimi had two deserts” [sic] … two after-dinner drinks, surely?

      5. They look like a bunch of school kids at camp.

      6. @ivz by the reflex on the window, apparently who took the picture was the waiter :-)

      7. Is that Charlie and Bernie on the table on the left in the reflection off the photo? o.O

    2. In regards to Kobayashi, would be sad to see him lose his seat at Sauber. Its a shame that smaller teams rely so heavily on driver money, when they should be receiving more support from FOM. The teams really need to get together and demand more! Look at the NBA lock out last season? The players ended up getting a bigger chunk of the pie as a result. Here the teams are the players, and with no teams, there is no game.
      Also now that Monisha Kaltenborn is team principal I would not be surprised to see her push the idea of the first female F1 driver. The question is, can she find someone good enough, and how would she go about it? No doubt the sponsorship dollars would fly in if she found a great female racer, and F1 overall would possibly open up more female viewers, or at the very least, gain some interest. Could it be possible that in the near future Sauber hold a test event over a weekend and try to get say the best 10 female drivers in the world, run them against each other and someone like Kobayashi, see how they compare, if they are close to an established F1 driver, maybe they are worth a shot?

      1. Also now that Monisha Kaltenborn is team principal I would not be surprised to see her push the idea of the first female F1 driver.

        I think you should give Kaltenborn more credit than that. She might be a woman, and she might be a spokesperson for women in motrsport, but she has been around long enough to know that she needs to take the two best drivers available, regardless of their gender.

        1. I disagree. I think we should give Kaltenborn less credit. No matter her gender, her background is purely in business. Her priorities are clearly based in profit and short-term thinking, and not in any respect for the sport. If a female driver would bring in sponsorship money (even if it meant crappy track results), she’d be all over it. I, for one, have faith that some other team principals would take the less-money, win-oriented route.

          1. @aficion – Sorry, but I find that to be a horribly sexist remark. These days, being a team principal is increasingly about doing business. All the team principals do it, because they’re managing a brand. Martin Whitmarsh was CEO of McLaren before being promoted. Stefano Domenicali spent most of his career managing Ferrari’s business interests. Tony Fernandes had nothing to do with Formula 1 before 2010,; instead, he was running some of the biggest businesses in Malaysia. Peter Sauber himself was a car salesman before he started building racing cars.

            Monisha Kaltenborn has been a part of Sauber for years. She knows the people currently working there, and until yesterday, she had joint control with Peter Sauber. Kaltenborn is not some outsider drafted into the team; she has been with them for over a decade. For you to characterise her as someone only concerned with the team’s bottom line and therefore an inappropriate choice is wrong, because you’re overlooking her history with the team, and choosing to ignore that that the team principal’s responsibility is to manage the entire team – and that includes its finances. But I don’t see you criticising Whitmarsh, Domenicali, Fernandes or Peter Sauber for it. Just the only woman in the boys’ club.

            1. @aficion I believe @Prisoner-Monkeys is spot-on. I think Kaltenborn deserves a lot of credit.

              You have to look at the last two seasons that the team have had since she began to take a more prominent role in controlling the team. Since then, the team have had two of their most successful season as a privateer team in their history. I hardly think the two are unrelated.

            2. @prisoner-monkeys How is that a sexist remark exactly? I can understand you disagreeing with his viewpoint on Kaltenborn’s business focus, but there’s nothing in that comment that implies that focus has anything to do with her being female.

          2. BS. I’m never hesitant when it comes to criticizing corporate greed, but I see nothing in Monisha that would warrant such criticism. The team is doing very well with her at the helm and I don’t see any indication of “short-term thinking”. Also, I think that Peter Sauber is an excellent judge of character and if he trusts her, I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t.

      2. thatscienceguy
        12th October 2012, 0:51

        Maria de Filippis and Lella Lombardi might be a bit annoyed by the thought of someone else being the first female F1 driver.
        (And Desiree Williams and Divina Galica, althuogh they didn’t start the races they entered).

      3. @ivc, thank you. To everybody else I apologize if I am boring you but unless we want our sport to become a totally dumbed down parody of its real raison d’etre we have to encourage the teams to fight to get back a fair share of the revenue they generate. It’s a disgrace to see a driver of Kobayashis stature reduced to begging for sponsorship in order to be able to compete in a midfield team. Virtually all the financial pressures teams face could be alleviated if they got a fair share of the revenue. To suggest that Bernies ability at negotiating appearance contracts is worth as much as the combined revenue distributed to all 12 teams is absolutely indefensible, the teams, drivers and circuit owners are squeezed and fans have to pay more and more ( ticket prices, pay TV) to compensate for the hundreds of millions of dollars drained out of the sport every year.

        1. It’s a disgrace to see a driver of Kobayashis stature reduced to begging for sponsorship in order to be able to compete in a midfield team.

          But is that because the team a) are so desperate for money that they have been forced to ask him to find a sponsor regardless of his performnces, or b) the team don’t feel that he has done enough to warrant a seat on merit and merit alone?

          When Kobayashi first joined the sport in 2009, bit things were expected of him. A lot of people got swept up in Koabayshi fever, but I always felt that the bar was set a little too high. He certainly did very well for himself – and Peter Sauber saw the benefit of giving him a driver in 2010 without any sponsorship obligations – but he never quite reached the lofty heights that the early hype suggested he could. In fact, I don’t think he truly lived up to the hype until last weeked when he scored his first podium.

          As poopular as he is, Kobayashi has been disappointing. Sergio Perez picked up three podiums in two years, compared to Kobayashi’s one podium in three years, and he scored just five points in the last twelve races of 2011. This year, he’s been fairly inconsistent as well. Just look at his last eight races: ninth in Canada, retired in Valencia, eleventh at Silverstone, fourth at Hockenhim, eighteenth (and retired) in Hungary, thirteenth in Belgium, ninth in Italy, thirteenth in Singapore, and a podium in Japan. He’s been consistently inconsistent.

          I think people have allowed themselves to get too carried away by Kobayashi. He simply hasn’t delivered; certainly not what was expected of him when he first joined the sport. But if he really is as good as you suggest he is, then he should have no trouble finding a sponsor.

          1. @Prisoner-Monkeys

            But is that because the team a) are so desperate for money that they have been forced to ask him to find a sponsor regardless of his performnces, or b) the team don’t feel that he has done enough to warrant a seat on merit and merit alone?

            If it really is between those two and Sauber truly are ‘desperate’ for cash, the answer is A. Kobayashi has not driven any less impressively than a number of drivers this season who do not have their place on the grid next season being questioned.

            As popular as he is, Kobayashi has been disappointing. Sergio Perez picked up three podiums in two years, compared to Kobayashi’s one podium in three years, and he scored just five points in the last twelve races of 2011.

            But at the start of 2011, he finished in the points in six consecutive races from round two in Malaysia to round seven in Canada (would’ve been the first seven races had the team not been disqualified in Melbourne). The car was decent last season, but I don’t think anyone’s under any illusion that the team fell behind in the development race last year. Maybe that’s because they were working on 2012 or because they just didn’t get it right, who knows. The point is I don’t think Kamui’s lack of points in the second half of 2011 could be fully attributed to him.

            This year, he’s been fairly inconsistent as well. Just look at his last eight races: ninth in Canada, retired in Valencia, eleventh at Silverstone, fourth at Hockenhim, eighteenth (and retired) in Hungary, thirteenth in Belgium, ninth in Italy, thirteenth in Singapore, and a podium in Japan. He’s been consistently inconsistent.

            ‘Tis the nature of the beast in the year of Our Bernie 2012. Virtually every driver down to the newest three teams has had an inconsistent run of results this year. It’s been so tight and unpredictable this season that the form of each team has varied rather dramatically at times from race to race. This year so far, Kamui’s had seven points finishes, finished outside the points five times and had three retirements, including Spa where he was looking arguably stronger than he’d been all season. Compare that to Perez, who’s also had seven points finishes, finished outside the points four times and retired in four more races – suddenly it puts the claims of inconsistency into more of a context. Compare Kobayashi to drivers like Webber, Massa, Grosjean, Maldonado or even Button, it’s clear that the tyre situation this season is making it more challenging than ever for any driver to remain consistent.

            1. @magnificent-geoffery, I agree with your analysis and would like to point out again that of all the drivers, KKs natural style of chucking the car around was the one most handicapped by the new type tyre he has done well to adapt to a strategy of tyre conservation. I would also like to clarify my position on driver sponsorship, if a driver is good enough and worked hard enough to attract sponsors I believe he should be able to keep that money not give it to the team, the team should find their own sponsors. cc.@prisoner-monkeys

      4. I Love the Pope
        12th October 2012, 1:07

        Female drivers do not really bring female fan interest in the U.S. With drivers like Danica, it is mostly just more ogling men watching.

        1. If any I think drivers like Danica and this kind of things only make it hard to female driver to be taked seriously in motosport…

          1. I know what you mean — like how this kind of thing makes it hard for male soccer players to be taken seriously. ;-)

            1. I Love the Pope
              12th October 2012, 1:35

              I don’t take Becks or soccer (a.k.a. “football”) seriously.

          2. I think there is plenty of cause for male drivers not to be taken seriously

        2. Female drivers do not really bring female fan interest in the U.S.

          Is that statement mostly based on your personal experience, or are there any statistics to support it? (And what do you mean by “drivers like Danica”?)

          1. They had not accomplish much by any standard and only have an advertising value….

          2. I Love the Pope
            12th October 2012, 1:33

            Drivers like Danica as in female drivers like Danica who is a female driver.

            And yes, it hasn’t done anything for motorsport. She has turned some women off.

            My wife believes that women shouldn’t race at all, and I happen to agree.

            1. My wife believes that women shouldn’t race at all, and I happen to agree.

              Why do you believe that?

            2. Any driver, woman, man or martian who isn´t doing much in any category…

              My wife believes that women shouldn’t race at all, and I happen to agree.

              I don´t agree, but everyone has their opinion…

            3. I Love the Pope
              12th October 2012, 1:46

              We know that men and women are different and have different roles in life. This just happens to be truth.

            4. Got it. Just wanted to make sure this discussion was as over as I thought it was.

            5. My wife believes that women shouldn’t race at all, and I happen to agree

              I’m brian of Nazareth and so is my wife!

            6. I Love the Pope
              12th October 2012, 4:18

              Meh. Some just know the truth and others deny it. That’s life.

            7. Meh. Some know the truth and others deny it. That’s life.

              That’s simultaneously the most laughable and depressing attitude to gender in F1 I’ve ever come across.

              There are no such things as gender roles. It’s a myth that society has failed to overcome from the more oppressive days of old and continues to hold women back. There’s is no good reason at all why we should still hold the idea that ‘men should do this and women should do that’. Just accepting that the way things are is somehow the way things should be is terribly obstructionist and is exactly the sort of attitude that continues to hold women back.

              There will be a female driver in F1 soon, and she will be there on merit. Mark my words.

            8. There will be a female driver in F1 soon, and she will be there on merit. Mark my words.

              I’m not sure about soon, but there is a Dutch girl, Beitske Visser, who is doing pretty well in Formel ADAC and will drive in German F3 next year, for Lotus. Mind you, she injured her back, spent a night at a hospital and won the race on the following day at Zandvoort. Won 2 races in her debut season, with pretty solid top 6 results as well. Depending on her further career, I think she can get far, provided that she keeps Lotus backing.

      5. Poor Kobayashi, will be sad to see him lose his sit…

        Also now that Monisha Kaltenborn is team principal I would not be surprised to see her push the idea of the first female F1 driver.

        I dislike this subject… I don´t want a contest for a female driver, I don´t want a female driver to pay for her sit, or to be sponsor from Saba, Pantene or Nivea to get a sit, I want a female friver to win a category and rise to F1, maybe this is unrealistic but I hate Tokenism and if Kaltenborn could get her position with out getting advantage for being a woman we should get the same chance as to get a woman to drive in F1 ….even if it takes a decade or more…

        1. I Love the Pope
          12th October 2012, 1:34

          We don’t even get the top men in cars anymore. What makes you think this will happen outside of pay-driver circles?

          1. We have drivers who had backing and are good… so Is not bad to have a sponsor, is bad if you have a sponsor just because you are from a specific gener, or race, or country… There should be decent if not good drivers whom also have money…

      6. There have been a few female drivers in F1 before.
        -Maria Teresa de Filippis
        -Lella Lombardi
        -Divina Galica
        -Desiré Wilson
        -Giovanna Amati

      7. Sauber has never, recently, preferred pay-drivers to talented drivers, and it would be a pity to see that changing. Luckily for them things are going well, but obviously other teams with money are a better prospect for the future.

    3. that japanese gp was an amazing gp. crazy team tactics from both williams and ferrari and their drivers. JV going 5 seconds a lap slower at the start to hold everyone up and hope one of the other drivers passed michael. and then ferrari using eddie brilliantly. schumi break tested(of sorts) mika which allowed eddie pass both of them and get after JV.

      mega race. one that is overlooked. that was a tense and gritty title battle between 2 drivers that clearly didnt get on. That gritty dislike and tense battles is something we dont see enough of anymore, it kept you gripped!!

      1. So weird to see 2 Ferraris up front!

        1. Those ’97 Ferraris probably had an even bigger pace deficit to the top team than the current cars do.

    4. The Grosjean misinformation from the mainstream commentators is depressing. Will Buxton (who commentates on the junior formula each week) has written a great piece on Grosjean. He argues incident by incident that Romain is only responsible for Spa and Japan. What I didn’t realise is that in F1 history, nobody has the pre-F1 CV that this lad does. 6 junior titles – and he didn’t win all those by bashing into everyone else.

      You have to question at times the preparation and proper analysis of our favourite TV pundits – it seems they are more interested in polling paddock opinion rather than fact. (Bustons’ blog)

      1. This is the same Will Buxton who reported on Twitter that the garages at the Circuit of the Americas would not be big enough for the teams to use in November, and that Bernie refused to allow them to work under temporary shade structures because of OH&S requirements, only for his comments to be completely disproven within twelve hours, right?

      2. Buxton refers to Grosjeans “unmatched” junior record of 6 titles while carefully skirting the fact that 2 titles were
        in series that consisted of 6 events, and his 2011 “triumph” in GP2 Asia was 2 events total! Nor that these series hand out points for fastest lap, pole, and for two (very short) races per event, which wouldn’t have been the case for junior categories in the past.

        Misinformation works both ways. Even Buxton admits he was a liability first time round, and while it looked like he had improved this year, spa and suzuka were events that showed a shocking lack of capability. There is a difference between having a racing incident during a chaotic start, and driving all the way across an empty track to cause one, as he did at spa. There is also a difference between making a misjudgment in a split second, and simply not looking in front of you.

        yes Vettel was called the crash kid. How often does he crash now? Hardly ever.

        Contrary to what will says, Romain had this reputation for years, and has not improved anywhere near enough for it to be dismissed.

        1. Sorry, but I don’t remember people calling Vettel ‘crash kid’.

          1. @chicanef1 I think that was Martin Whitmarsh after the 2010 Belgian Grand Prix when Vettel took Button out.

            1. Also Japan 2007, after Vettel crashed into Webber during safety car period. Webber fumed “It’s kids isn’t it? They have not got enough experience –- they do a good job and then they **** it all up.” He added that he’d noticed Vettel being a bit “wild” in his mirrors prior to the shunt, That ‘kid’ has now won 2 WDC titles. Chin up Romain, the precedent looks great.

      3. Romain is only responsible for Spa and Japan

        That is pretty much precisely what I was saying in my Profile comment. It’s incredible how the media have twisted the statistics to make him look like the bad guy… I’ll admit the Spa and Japan incidents were more his fault than anyone elses, but to blame him for all 8 is particularly bad, especially when one of them is just him going a bit wide on a corner…

        1. They haven’t twisted the statistics at all. At best, they have failed to share the blame where incidents were marginal.

          if Rg were not entirely to blame for all incidents, he still has to ask the question of himself: How come so many others don’t have these problems at the start?

          Take the Melbourne case, Buxton argues it’s Maldonado’s fault. He fails to point out Grosjean had another option when pastor was squeezing him: accept he’d been passed and back out. That’s what a cleverer driver might have done. I have little respect for either of them, so I place the blame in both camps with the proviso that pastor is a scumbag who shouldn’t be in a car.

          1. “Scumbag” isn’t that a little harsh? Seems a bit more of a personality opinion than a racing one.

            1. I think a driver who wriggles out of a lifetime ban for driving into a marshall, and then responds to criticism of him attempting to barge another driver into the barriers, next to more marshalls and the crowd, with a smarmy grin and commenting “this is formula 1” is a scumbag, yes.

              Equally, I would describe Piquet Jr as a scumbag, and he didn’t injure anyone.

    5. Kobayashi needs to move up, not down nor out. He’s a true talent, better than Sato IMO. He has the speed, the agresiveness and doesn’t crash as frequently as Takuma. I’d be extremely dissapointed to see him out of Sauber or even F1. He deserves better machinery.

      1. Agreed on all accounts.

      2. I agree, but it appears the only seat was Ferrari and Massa has probably been handed it once again. So unless a big sponsor comes in and backs Kobayashi.. It will be Sayonara for now :(.

        The best he can do for his career is keep aiming for podiums so his name isn’t forgotten.

      3. The naivety of Kimui is endearing and at the same time quite sad. It is also sad that the era where F1 drivers who bring huge sponsorship are getting pay-per-drive opportunities over and above those that who do not have massive sponsorship. It used to be the way that a mid table team would want a solid experienced driver like Kobayashi to maximise their table position and therefore attract more ‘prize’ money from the constructors championship. Now a Kimui is not valued that way – rather, better to recruit a kid with a billionaire behind them.

        This and many other problems in F1 are rooted in the same place. F1 funding. James Allen wrote a piece last week about the time bomb F1 is storing up over the next 5 years with regard to new drivers and money.

        It was surprising thiis week to discover PDVSA pays over £30m to Williams for ‘sponsorship’. Excuse me, Vodafone, Gillette et al I get because viewers and fans buy their stuff but the Venezuelan arrangement is reportedly a personal arrangement between a president of a country who allegedly controls a vast national oil company. And to be fair, Maldonado is no slouch. But others?

        It has not been reported anywhere I know this week in the popular F1 press (Sky business News http://news.sky.com/story/992617/exclusive-f1-owners-eye-huge-payout), but CVC/BE announced they wish to do a ‘dividend recapitalisation’. They have sold to various other “Investment funds” over 30% of FOM this year for in excess of £3bn mostly in cash. F1 already has a mortgage CVC placed on the business of £2.45bn (2006) it was due for repayment 2011, but they managed to roll over until 2016 (minutea here http://wp.me/p2HWOP-8O )

        This ‘dividend recapitalisation’ is simply a way of borrowing more money now against the next 5 years revenues due to them from the commercial F1 rights. While the rest of the world is realising they borrowed to much on credit and are trying to reduce debt, F1 is increasing its debt burden to the equivalent of several years income.

        1. @thejudge13, sadly most fans would rather talk about female drivers, all that money went to Bernie, if the teams grew a set and stuck together they could have refused to renew the “Concorde” unless they got a much greater share of the revenue, risky of course for everyone concerned, CVC could lose their investment and the teams might lose a year of racing and income, some would go broke but F1 would be infinitely better off in the long run, and that’s why I say Bernie sold out F1.

          1. I think a day of reckoning is approaching for certain F1 partners. We’ll see.

      4. He’s not a superstar, and the drivers in better teams are all faster than him. However I’d be sad to see him move down the order or out of F1.

        1. He’s not a superstar? We will never know if he doesn’t get a chance in a top team. I think you and others under-rate him. When he brings it all together he’s one of the fastest on the grid and remember why people were talking about him when he first got his chance? He didn’t need DRS to make overtakes. While others drive around in a procession, he has the ability to go for things that others don’t think is on. He’s similar to Hamilton in that respect.

    6. Ever since 2010 I have been a fan of kamui he one of the reason I get up early in the morning(US time) to watch f1. I have watched f1 since 2003 when I was five years old and if I ever had to root for someone in my life and thought that driver would be world champion who fully deserves it it should be Kamui Kobayashi.

      1. You were born in 1998?

        Wow. I remember the 1997 season when I was seven, before you were even alive. That makes me feel old.

        Good comment, by the way. Nice to know there are passionate and knowledgeable young fans of the sport in the States.

        1. Oh stop it you two!

          You’re making this 25 year old feel like an old man!


          1. I love this thread! as a relatively young fan of F1 (I am 25 as well) its great to see others in the same path more or less as me. As a matter of fact, I loooooved waking up with my dad in the morning (I am from Mexico, so most races were in morning time for us) to watch the races together in our PJ’s and after the race he would make some breakfast for both of us :D Happy times. I would like to encourage other readers to post their F1 stories and experiences.

            1. Oh, man, do you happen to be me, by chance? It was the same! Hehehe

        2. I started watching F1 ‘fanatically’ in about 1990 – just about the time @magnificent-geoffrey was entering the world. I have some memories of the odd earlier race and recall Piquet and Mansell being the big names of the eighties.

          I still tend to think of the 1998 season as being pretty recent – grooved tyres and narrow cars, those recently introduced underpowered 3litre engines and the re-emergence of the ‘silver-arrows’ the previous year.

        3. Lol 1997? I was 13, i can remember watching senna vividly and unfortunately remember his passing in 1994. The are many smart race fans in the US. Yall really making me feel old though

    7. Did Sauber lose funding when Perez committed to McLaren? Was he paying to drive for Sauber?

      1. I Love the Pope
        12th October 2012, 1:36

        Telmex – Carlos Slim – big dolla

      2. @weavergh no, they are staying

        Sauber’s sponsorship deal with Mexican telecommunications giants Telmex is to continue next year, despite Sergio Perez’s move to McLaren.

      3. No, they didn’t loose Telmex sponsorship for next year, which makes you wonder why Kobayashi needs money, it’s even more strange if you think about it because Sauber are not contractually obligated to put Gutierrez next year (or at least that’s what they say) so there’s room to keep Kob and other experienced driver.

        1. maybe they need even more money…

        2. Esteban Gutierrez is backed by Telmex as well.

    8. More and more teams choosing rout of getting sponsorship via their drivers, I bet Frank Williams would have a nice wit or two about it :)

      Just let them fold if they can’t keep up, some one will take their place.

      1. @kimi4wdc, I can’t tell you how depressing I find your attitude, as expressed in your last line.
        “someone will take their place”, someone with a better grasp of showbiz and how to “look after the bottom line”. No room for inspired designers like Colin Chapman, no room for practical can do engineers like Jack Brabham, no room for passionate racers like Enzo Ferrari. Time to let Bernie take over the whole show and get the races scripted in Hollywood.

        1. Actually that’s exactly what made me write that last line, and also the reason why I mentioned Frank Williams. I like Monisha and all, but the attitude of recent Team Principal trend is what is depressing to me. They all seem to be focused on running as you mentioned scripted circus instead of giving it a full go.
          There are just too many stake holders in Formula 1, and they all want to be in control.
          I think we talking about the same thing, I just like the Red Bull and Williams early days approach better. They are there to win, not to run a sustainable business.

          1. @kimi4wdc, My apologies, I missed the sarcasm, and yes I agreee, Frank Williams was in my mind I just didn’t know how to characterize him, like Enzo I guess driven to win. I wish the constructors title meant more and there was more freedom to make a better car.

    9. “I’d rather be probably out of second and third place so I don’t have to go to the prize-giving. It makes no difference to be second or fifth if you don’t win.”

      And yet, at the same time, Raikkonen has said that “he only cares” about the championship.

      When it comes down to it, second and third places are going to go much further towards that than fourth and fifth places.

      1. He means that, at the end of the season, if he isn’t first he’d rather be fourth or lower, because he wouldn’t want to have to go to the awards ceremony in Istanbul for anything less than the WDC.

        1. So Raikkonen would rather have a poor finish to the season to avoid an awards dinner? Aryton Senna’s comments about racing drivers who don’t go for a gap no longer being racing drivers springs to mind. What’s Raikkonen going to do if he is leading the Brazilian Grand Prix with a lap to go, but the seven extra points he gets for first will guarantee him third in the drivers’ standings? Is he just going to coast around and let someone else take the win simply so he doesn’t have to go to the presentation?

          1. He’s saying he doesn’t really consider there to be a meaningful difference between second and fifth in the championship (you know, with second being the first of the losers and all) — so he’d probably prefer fifth to second so he doesn’t have to go to Istanbul.

            Frankly, I think you’re taking the whole thing a bit too seriously. Last season, even Alonso and Webber were joking about wishing third place on each other, because neither wanted to go to India for the ceremony.

          2. Putting Senna there, just nullifies whole point you trying to get across.

            Senna would be all over to join Red Bull or McLaren by mid season, if they had a faster cars.

            1. No, it doesn’t.

              I’m not thinking of what Senna himself would have done. Just of what he said: that if you see a gap and you decide not to go for it, then you are not a racing driver.

              What does it say about Raikkonen if he’d rather finish fourth overall than third simply so that he doesn’t have to go to an awards dinner?

            2. I took it as a “second place is the first loser” sort of remark.

          3. @prisoner-monkeys I think you’re completely missing Kimi’s sense of humor. Not every word that a person says should be taken seriously. It was just his way way of saying that he doesn’t care about anything else than finishing first. There’s no way he’d give up position in a race to avoid going to an awards ceremony.

          4. I think you’re taking Raikkonen’s comment too seriously. This is the guy who said he was taking a dump during Pele’s speech.

            As for what it says about him, I think it says he doesn’t care too much for social events (old news); or about the opinions of others. Including ours. Lighten up.

          5. He is right to an extent: 1st is what matters. 2nd or 5th are both losers.
            However the closest you are to 1st the better it is. 5th or 2nd is a huge difference in terms of performance, it proves you as a driver and you have an extra trophy, which, despite being less worthy than 1st place, is more worthy than 5th. When 1st place can’t be obtained 2nd is obviously the best chance and Kimi should know this and respect it.

      2. What next? “Second? I’d rather be 15th”, says Maldonado?

      3. The point he was making was if 4th he wouldn’t have to go to the dull awards ceremony in December http://wp.me/p2HWOP-9I

    10. If Kobayashi needs sponsorship to stay in F1, I would say he is in grave danger of loosing his seat. It is a sad prospect, and he has been one of the better talents to join F1 over the last couple years. With the current state of the economy in Japan, I doubt he will get many big companies to make the big investment. And to be fair, the big companies (except cars) in Japan probably don’t even need the advertisement exposure of F1 because they are already so well known around the world. To be fair, since the car companies are not in the balance here, Kamui’s best shot is probably an electronics manufacturer, I would guess they would be the next biggest set of companies. As I mentioned, would companies like Sony, Panasonic, JVC, Sharp want to spend millions to flog their brand that is already so well established globally? Probably not. Kamui will require a sugar daddy or mamma of sort..I really hope he finds one.

      1. Kobayashi might need sponsorship to secure his seat with Sauber. He has said that the biggest companies in Japan are car manufacturers. Honda has recently expressed an interest in returning to Formula 1. It’s not difficult to connect the dots – if Honda are genuinely interested in re-establishing themselves in the sport, then sponsoring Kobayashi might be the easiest way to get their foot in the door. Of course, this would no doubt give way to dozens of rumours about them re-entering with Sauber, but Honda are not limited to cars and cars alone. For instance, they make motorcycles as well …

        1. @prisoner-monkeys I don’t understand how they could re-establish themselves in Formula 1 with motorcycles?!

    11. I saw that picture of de Villotta’s skull and I must say, I’m surprised she only lost an eye. Their was certainly some damage to the temporal lobe of the brain, and the doctors have done a great job. The question is: whose fault was the crash?

      1. Whether Marussia will ever actually put out a definitive statement on that remains to be seen (and I honestly won’t be surprised if they avoid ever doing so, if possible). I think the more important thing to be looking at, however, is the safety issues that were surrounding the car when whatever caused the accident (even if it was purely driver error) occurred. The fact that there was anything that dangerous at driver eye level, that close to a running F1 car, is something I’m still rather appalled by.

        1. @leucocrystal I agree. Having a truck bed sticking into the pitlane at head height seems like appalling mismanagement.

    12. If my memory serves me correctly, Sauber gained new sponsors following Perez’s success in Malaysia. I wonder if these recent comments regarding Kobayashi’s future are meant to draw new sponsors in a similar manner. Drawing more attention, name recognition, and sponsorships to the team allows Sauber to continue their rise. Timing these comments immediately after Kobayashi’s success in his home country seems like a clever attempt to maximize the benefits of his podium finish for the team.

    13. I Love the Pope
      12th October 2012, 4:20

      If Kamui is not resigned by Sauber because of money, then my support for Sauber ends.

      1. I feel the same. I am a big admirer of Peter Sauber and I like Monisha.. But if their idea of success and moving up the grid is getting mediocre pay drivers to replace Kobayashi.. It will backfire on them.

    14. I think last weekend was great for Kamui. I won’t be surprised we see him in a better team next year. If he stays at Sauber, I expect Sauber to be even more competitive next year with the additional funding he will get. The Sauber/ Honda rumors that are sure to appear would be great for the sport, no doubt!

      1. @sergio-perez

        I think last weekend was great for Kamui. I won’t be surprised we see him in a better team next year.

        That’s a great theory.

        It is, however, let down by one tiny flaw: there are no spare seats in better teams to be had. McLaren, Mercedes and Red Bull are all locked out. Felipe Massa is probably going to stay at Ferrari, but if he leaves, then most people believe that Nico Hulkenberg or Paul di Resta will take the vacant seat. And Lotus’ future plans are unknown, but they will probably keep both their drivers.

        The only way Kobayashi could move to one of those teams is like this:

        a) Ferrari fire Massa, and then surprise everyone by taking Kobayashi.
        b) Grosjean causes another first-lap accident and the stewards ban him for the rest of the season, prompting Lotus to look elsewhere for the second seat.
        c) Red Bull fire Webber after Ferrari announce their second driver, revealing that their initial contract offer was just a ploy to keep him from going to Maranello.

        The first scenario is probably the most likely. After all, Paul di Resta was widely tipped for the vacant McLaren seat, but then they took Perez. The talk of di Resta at McLaren appears to have been fuelled by the media and the grapevine rather than anythign substantial, so it’s entirely plausible that Ferrari could do the same and ignore talk of di Resta and Hulkenberg and pick Kobayashi instead.

        The second scenario is plausible, mostly because of Grosjean’s track record of eight first-(or second-)-lap incidents in eighteen starts. He had a stop/go penalty in Suzuka, which is the harshest available to the stewards for a driver still competing in the race, but another episode is likely to get him another ban, at which point he becomes a liability – even if Eric Boullier is managing him. Alternatively, Raikkonen might leave the team or the sport again; he’s set up a YouTube video and website counting down to a big annoucement, and it’s going to be awfully disappointing if he announces that he is staying as it means nothing will change.

        Finally, I would not put it past Red Bull to sign Mark Webber up for another year and then break the contract as soon as Ferrari confirm their 2013 line-up, but this would be likely to result in a civil – or even criminal (for fraud) – case, and would be very messy. At the very least, Webber would go to the FIA’s Contract Review Board.

        1. Someone had found out that the company who made that video is used extensively by Lotus. Additionally, Lotus have linked to it all over their social media. It’s just Lotus milking signing Raikkonen (a year ago, with the option for a second year) for all it’s worth.

          Which I don’t blame them for. Reports are that just having him drive for the team has by itself attracted sponsors. But it is funny to see his fans getting all worked up ;)

        2. Nope of all you got in line Perez bit them to McLaren sit in place for Hamilton, but don’t forget he was not good enough for Ferrari, so doubt the others who have achieve less can. Kobayashi is great but he had a 3 yr chance where are the results ? in the Markoredbull world had him out last year won a race or leave.
          WDC material drivers have all extensive sponsorship, so end off story.

        3. c) Red Bull fire Webber after Ferrari announce their second driver, revealing that their initial contract offer was just a ploy to keep him from going to Maranello.

          How did you came up with that one? O_o!

    15. For the first time, we can actually see the extent of Marias injuries. Simply shocking and… unbelievable.

    16. Probably an unpopular opinion, but I find it completely unsurprising that Kamui needs to find more sponsors to keep his seat.

      Over the last two seasons, his performances have seemed to plateau while Sauber as a team have only gone forward. The team are determined to take a step up and need drivers that can make a similar step. I don’t feel Kamui’s current level or potential is a match to that of Sauber’s.

      Money is also always a concern for teams in the modern era, so if a driver at an equal level or with more potential can come with more money, then it is well worth taking the gamble on them. Despite losing Perez, their current Mexican sponsors have committed, but any extra money will be more than welcomed.

      It was incredibly heartwarming to see Kamui get his podium in Japan and he is a driver deserving of F1, just maybe not at Sauber’s level.

      1. Kamuis natural style is totally at odds with the current tyres, were we to go back to everlasting tyres Kamui would be even more impressive, he has done well to tame his natural exuberance and finish ahead of McLaren and Lotus with their World Champion drivers.

      2. Hm, interesting. I agree that we haven’t seen him that much lately, and Sauber have a car capable of very good racing. If they don’t keep him, it certainly means Sauber agree with you, but that would mean Perez is underperforming just as much. After all, Kobayashi is doing a lot better in qualifying and part of his problems have been from the team not being able to make race strategy work as well as they do or Perez starting outside of the top 10.

      3. @silverkeg I don’t really agree with saying that Kamui’s performances have ‘plateaued’, especially this season. He was consistenly scoring points in the first half of 2011 before the team fell back in the development race and this year he has had his best season to date. His qualifying has improved this season, which has been his biggest weakness, and while his race results have varied from race to race, that is partly to do with the nature of the sport this year and how tight and unpredictable it is.

        He’s been overshadowed by Perez, for sure, but I think everyone agrees that Checo is something special indeed. Kamui has also been unfortunate on ocassions when the car has looked good. He retired in Sepang when Checo could (and probably should) have won and was Grosjeaned out of any contention in Spa after qualifying second. Who knows how he could’ve gone in Spa had it not been for him being taken out?

        I think last weekend proves that Kamui is capable of delivering good results if given the opportunity. I think you also have to look at the fact that he became the team leader in 2011 despite barely having 20 grands prix under his belt and this season has been the team’s most successful in history. I think you have to give him some credit for that.

        Ultimately, I think it’d be a great shame and injustice if Kamui lost his seat next season. I could think of plenty of drivers who have not done as much as he has this year who will probably end up retaining their seats for 2013 – and that would be very disappointing.

        1. You’re right that his Qualifying has improved, and that is something I probably overlooked, and I never thought of the team-leader thing. But his race pace just doesn’t seem to be all there with no real benefit to his tyre conservation.

          I thought he drove well in Japan to score his podium, but also feel he was very lucky contenders like Webber and Alonso were taken out. His pace in that race never really impressed me and it seemed it could have been similar to his race in China when he qualified on the second row and fell back to tenth, had close rivals not been taken out.

          I think a little too much is being made of his ‘inferior’ strategies to Sergio, In the races his pace isn’t as strong and his tyre degradation is always higher. I just feel he has reached his potential, and it’s not as high as Sauber’s potential.

          I love Kamui, he is a great character and agree it would be a travesty if he were no longer in Formula 1, but I could completely see why Sauber might expect a little more, either performance, money or both from him.

          1. In the races his pace isn’t as strong and his tyre degradation is always higher

            As a Kamui fan, I still must agree with this. There seems to be some unfortunate compromise made either in his race setups or the way he is refining his driving style, because, frankly, the overtaking-producing aggressiveness is gone but there is no proper tyre conservation in return to allow more room for alternative strategies.

            The result is improved qualifying being let down by so-so pace combined with run-of-the-mill race strategies.

    17. It’s interesting seeing the GPDA dinner, I like seeing who is sitting by who, makes one wonder whose friends with who among the drivers. You’ve got older guys like Webber and De la Rosa sitting together, and near the front of the pic you’ve got Vettel, Massa and Rosberg hanging out. It’s great seeing stuff like this, though I must say that doesn’t appear to be much of a dinner for a group of guys who need a lot of calories!

      1. @adam-tate
        And Grosjean hiding in the far corner : )

    18. Perhaps Twitter is not for me.

      A big relief for Mercedes PR department.

    19. Maria’a injuries are horrific, that’s so much damage to sustain. Massive credit owed to her doctors, nurses and surgeons.

      Typical Kimi, wanting to get away with as little as possible!

      Will Perez be allowed to go to Woking for a seat fitting, perhaps off record?

    20. I’d rather be probably out of second and third place so I don’t have to go to the prize-giving.

      Only Kimi.

    21. Very sporting by Villeneuve, really…

    22. Both Sauber’s drivers are underperforming. Their car is clearly in top3 through whole season, and they have to fight 5th place in constructors with underperforming Mercedes.

      1. McLaren must regret signing an ‘underperforming’ driver then!

        Their car is certainly not consistently top 3. Look at the constructors table for validation.

    23. Luca (@F1Britalian22)
      12th October 2012, 22:49

      Why not Panasonic? They sponsored Toyota who like Panasonic were keen to get Kobayashi in an F1 car. I read an article in either F1 Racing or Autosport in 2010 during the pre-season that Kobayashi’s arrival at Sauber had triggered the interest of Panasonic (And Pedro de la Rosa’s arrival with some Spanish coffee company of some sort..), which to be honest didn’t surprise me but I don’t know why it ever materialised.

      I really like Kamui, he brings a light of hope to Japan. He may be inconsistent, but he surely does know how to pull of amazing overtakes. Plus his amazing performences on Saturdays with him getting into the top ten a lot more often than his team mate this year, have actually compromised him in the race. We know Kamui to be aggressive on his tyres (Maybe why he can get more heat into them and qualify better) compared to smooth-as-silk Sergio; so that really hampers him on a Sunday when strategy matters most (Also mostly to do with bad luck).

      Pérez has stolen the headlines and is rightly tipped to be a star of the future, so that really has put Kobayashi on the spot. I’m really hoping that Kamui succeeds in staying in F1 in 2013, as he is a brilliant driver and a country such as Japan needs a great driver. Might I add that the Japanese crowd really lightened up my morning after they chanted Kamui’s name when he got his first podium, which I was over the moon for!

      1. I agree except for Sergio being smooth as silk. He hacks at the steering wheel and that style has not changed since he came into F1. He must just manage his rears better, because smooth he is not.

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