Kobayashi may refund 1.2m in donations from fans

2013 F1 season

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Kamui Kobayashi has pledged to refund the donations made to his support programme if he fails to secure a place in Formula One.

Kobayashi lost his seat at Sauber last year due in part to a lack of support from sponsors. He set up a Kamui Support programme for fans to donate money to his racing career.

The campaign has raised Yen184m (1.2m) so far. But Kobayashi, who is racing for Ferrari in the World Endurance Championship this year, says he will only use the money to further his F1 career.

“Personally speaking, I want to come back in Formula One next year,” he told his official website.

“And today, there is one thing I want to be clear about Kamui Support. The all donations of Kamui Support has not been used at all this year, because this was purely for F1 seat.”

“And if I don’t need to use them for next year’s F1 seat, I want to return all to whom made donation.”

“At Monaco Grand Prix, I spend whole weekend with the Scuderia Ferrari team,” he added. “And following Monday, I had a chance to check F1 cars at Fiorano for Moscow event scheduled in July. I will also have a chance to test simulator near future.”

“I will put all of my effort for the jobs Scuderia Ferrari offered to me and hoping to give you good news as soon as possible. So, I wish you all the best and keep supporting me.”

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Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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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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46 comments on “Kobayashi may refund 1.2m in donations from fans”

  1. Too bad he’s not giving it to charity.

    1. better he gets a seat, make more money and gives more to charity

    2. Can’t imagine that’s possible. Surely that would amount to having misled the donators; if they would have wanted to give it to charity they could have done so themselves.

      1. @victor That’s a fair point.
        @mnm101 I meant in case he doesn’t get a seat.

    3. Sarcastic guy
      31st May 2013, 22:33

      too bad Formula 1 spends billions while people starve to death.
      (sarcasm off)

  2. just go to Indycar Kamui..don’t leave open-wheel racing!

    1. @sushant008 Yeah I think he’d be a great fit in IndyCa, would love to see him race there.

    2. I agree, I think there’s enough good racing there to go out there and show em.

      1. Precisely. I rate him much better than Sato, the guy who was leading the series last week!

  3. Hm, not sure where Kamui would fit in really, although its good that he got picked up a bit by Ferrari. At least this way they have a guy they could put in the car immediately in case of an accident (for example in case Massa would not feel good enough for Canada after the Monaco weekend).

    But If Marussia confirms their Ferrari engines, I would hope they try to hold onto Bianchi for next year as well (or can he move up?), but as its Chilton paying the bills, he is pretty likely to stay as well, provided the finances do not run out. With Massa on a far stronger pace this year, will Ferrari keep him on another year? If yes, will Hulkenberg then stay with Sauber – I guess he would, so there would be no opening at Sauber either.

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      31st May 2013, 20:09

      It is speculated he will take a Lotus seat if Grosjean is dropped or if Raikkonen moves to Red Bull replacing Webber.

      1. it’s also speculated that kubica would take the place if he gets better

    2. He getting picked up by Ferrari gives lot of scope for his future in F1. And @bascb from the below quote I get a feeling that he is sounding certain of an F1 seat next year.

      “And if I don’t need to use them for next year’s F1 seat, I want to return all to whom made donation.”

  4. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey)
    31st May 2013, 17:54

    God, I do hope he gets a seat. Will make my £50 standing order to Kamui Support worth it…

    1. Great that you are supporting his cause, although I couldn’t do it myself.

  5. Liam McShane (@)
    31st May 2013, 17:59

    I think he should give it to charity instead. I think we all know he is very unlikely to get a seat in F1 next year.

    1. That should be up to the people who donated to Kobayashi

    2. @motor_mad just quoting @victor for you here:

      Can’t imagine that’s possible. Surely that would amount to having misled the donators; if they would have wanted to give it to charity they could have done so themselves.

  6. I really want to see Kobayashi back in F1. An Alonso – Kobayashi lineup at Ferarri would be awesome!

    1. With all due respect for Massa, that line-up would be truly awesome, although I’m not too sure in how much awe @magnificent-geoffrey would be to see Kamui at Maranello. :p

  7. Traverse (@)
    31st May 2013, 18:31

    Good!! I need the £1.1M that I donated back! I’m flat broke…maybe I shouldn’t have blown all my money on strippers (paint stripper, I love painting) and hoes (I’m also a gardener). :)

  8. definitely cannot give it to Charity, would clearly be ill-gotten for the charity as people would feel misled.

  9. The only question: where? Maybe back to Sauber given the HULK ‘might’ go to the prancing horse. I feel like Massa has now become the center of the drivers market in the same way Schumachers retirement in 2012 shook up the grid.

    1. And discounted engines too? This crossed my mind as well…

    2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      31st May 2013, 19:18

      @force-maikel the little issue about Massa is that every year he becomes the center of the seat-moves speculation, just to see him signing over and over again.

      1. I think the only way we’d see Massa out of a Ferrari seat next year is if he chooses to retire, which at his age, isn’t likely. What’s more, is that I can’t find a reason as to why Ferrari would drop him now. Continuity in 2014 will be an advantage too…

        1. Indeed @electrolite, the way Massa is driving so far this year, he is exactly what Ferrari needs. A really fast driver, qualifying where the car allows him to and getting a solid deal of points and a podium at times.
          His form last year at this time was abysmall, but now, I don’t really see any urgency for Ferrari to replace him.

  10. Ferrari’s testdriver lineup is a graveyard, ask any of their other 12 testdrivers. He won’t be back in F1 and should focus on Indycar instead.

    1. Not so sure about that. Massa too spent a year out testing for Ferrari before driving for Sauber and they eventually joining Ferrari.

      Yes Ferrari is run different now than it was back then but Kobayashi’s Sauber results were a lot more impressive than Massa’s. It is unlikely but I wouldn’t completely discount Kamui driving for the Ferrari in the future.

  11. Imagine Kamui in a Ferrari and Perez in a McLaren fighting for a Grand Prix victory.

    This would either end in total desaster or in the most classic GP since Dijon 1979.

    1. Traverse (@)
      31st May 2013, 20:55

      As much as I admire kamui and like Perez, a race deciding dual between these two would only end in disaster. Neither possess the subtle touch nor a finesse centred driving style to sustain an inch perfect, wheel-to-wheel, on the edge battle of legendary proportions.
      Still, watching them wipe each other out as The Vet cruises through for the win would be very entertaining!!

      1. Traverse (@)
        1st June 2013, 3:53


      2. koba was actually quite spectacular and clean with his ovetakes in F1, take a look at the many career overtake highlight reels. One thing that was imo the differentiator between Perez going to McLaren and Koba being dropped from F1 is that Perez had a reputation of possessing great tyre management skills which is more of whats needed of where the sport is heading currently, whereas Koba was more of a go hard or go home type that races at the limit, hence his superior qualifying abilities

    2. Why does everyone seem to think that Koabayshi is going to get promoted straight into a Ferrari seat?

      1. No one here has really predicted Kobayashi for a Ferrari seat, they’d just like to see it happen.

  12. He can take his place back from Gutierrez at Sauber, HULK have always been better than him …

    1. I’d rather see Frijns in that seat though;)

      1. Bosley (@)
        1st June 2013, 7:21

        Hulkenburg took his place at Sauber, not Gutierrez; he took Perez’s.

        1. Either sauber seat would do;)

          1. Imagine Frijns and Koba in the same team; how awesome would that be??

  13. But if Grosjean was dropped from Lotus this season, who would replace him? Who would be as experienced as Kobayashi, with the same level or recent results as Kobayashi had his last year in F1 and as ready and willing to race as Kobayashi is.

  14. Mike the bike Schumacher (@mike-the-bike-schumacher)
    31st May 2013, 23:35

    I remember getting a COTD about this when he set it up, I’m still against the idea in general, but glad he has clarified that he is willing to give the money back if he doesn’t make it.

  15. Raising £1.2 million shows that he clearly has a lot of fans who want to see him drive in F1. if i was a huge corporation with a few millions to spare, i would sponsor him to get a seat.

  16. If F1 was a little bit cheaper to run then I believe that we would see a lot of talented drivers out there right now, like Kamui.

  17. not even a podium at suzuka was able to save his F1 career,,, Gutierez replacing him highlight$ the $ad $tate of affair$ in F1

    1. Actually, Hulkenberg replaced him. Gutierrez was replacing Perez as the pay driver of the team.

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