Kobayashi reveals Caterham safety scare in Russia

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Kamui Kobayashi says he was “scared” driving during the Russian Grand Prix after a suspension defect was discovered on his Caterham.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Kobayashi car safety ‘scare’ before Russia (BBC)

“Last night a suspension defect was found. There’s no spare so it was repaired by wrapping it in carbon.”

Future of Caterham F1 remains clouded after bailiffs move in (Racecar Engineering)

“The spare wishbones for the car were among the items seized by the bailiffs.”

Lotus to trial non twin-tusk nose (Autosport)

“The Enstone F1 squad will trial a 2014 Ferrari/Mercedes-style low nose, as it pushes on with developments for its 2015 car.”

Max Verstappen: What I learned in F3 (Red Bull)

“I have no problems at all with [mental strength]! I’m really relaxed and I don’t want to think about mental stress, or how strong you are mentally because, to be honest, I find it a bit bulls*&t.”

Race Track Near Moscow Certified for Formula 1: Press Service (Ria Novosti)

“After three successful international seasons Moscow Raceway has upgraded its status and now can host all kind of races including Formula One.”

Timeline Photos (Moscow Raceway)

The Moscow Raceway’s grade one FIA licence.

Formula 1 Racetrack Will Fight Nissan’s Use of Eau Rouge (Bloomberg)

“A Belgian racetrack will contest an application by carmaker Nissan Motor Co.’s (7201) Infiniti brand to trademark ‘Eau Rouge,’ one of Formula One auto racing’s most famous turns.”

Las Vegas emerging as possible site for Formula One race (Autoweek)

Bernie Ecclestone: “In the end there’s a million countries that would like to have an F1 race, but they can’t afford it.”

DTM champion Wittmann gets Toro Rosso test (ESPN)

“BMW has used its contacts with Red Bull to organise the test while also renewing Wittmann’s contract in DTM.”

Abu Dhabi is a destination where speed is king – from F1 to £50,000 falcons and 150mph roller coasters (The Mirror)

“F1 is of course the ultimate technical sport and [Caterham head of communications] Tom [Webb] kept an array of facts and figures flowing (35 tonnes of equipment to move for each race… 320 staff on the team… only 60 of those allowed on the circuit for a race… engine develops 760bhp…tyres are only 9psi and so forth).”

In memory of… The Caesars Palace Grand Prix (Crash)

“Requiring 15 minutes of recovery from physical pain and heat exhaustion before facing the media, [Nelson] Piquet later revealed he had vomited into his helmet during the race.”



Carlos Sainz Jnr failed to score a point in the final race weekend of the Formula Renault 3.5 season but scooped the title after rival Roberto Merhi was taken out at the first corner in race one. Like many of the drivers, Sainz had a sticker on his car showing his support for Jules Bianchi.

Comment of the day

Nico Hulkenberg has extended his contract at Force India, but is he now doomed never to get a seat with a top team?

I’m really sad in a way. I’m glad Hulkenberg will be retaining a seat in F1 next year, but, I think he’s missed the boat.

I hope I am wrong as despite some of his latest average performances, he’s very capable of doing so much more in motorsport. Lets hope that Force India have a superb year next year and he’s able to showcase his talent in the odd race.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Imre Pardi!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

The drivers’ championship was decided by the narrowest-ever margin of half a point on this day 30 years ago.

Alain Prost won the European Grand Prix but by finishing second to him Niki Lauda claimed his third championship crown by the tiny margin, which came about because half-points had been awarded at the rain-hit Monaco Grand Prix earlier that year.

It was also the first grand prix to be held at the Estoril circuit in Portugal. Here are highlights from the race:


Images © Caterham/LAT, Tilke, Renault/DPPI

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

67 comments on “Kobayashi reveals Caterham safety scare in Russia”

  1. So, that’s two terrible F1 grade circuits in Russia now… ;p

    1. But Sochi isn’t terrible.

      I really like it, Most of the drivers said they liked it & it provided us with the best GP3 race of the season & 2 very exciting GP2 races.

      I am really looking forward to the 2015 race to see the cars on this technical, Challenging & exciting race track :)

      1. I was being a little facetious. Sochi is an above average racetrack I’d agree but in v v v boring surroundings (empty carparks when seen from overhead & grey concrete walls (can’t they at least paint the different corners!?)). As for Moscow Raceway, I’ve come to dread seeing it come up on a race calendar – every race that I’ve seen there seems follow the same pattern: cars run wide & off track at turn one, spread out through those fast sweepers & then complete the first lap separated by huge gaps which remain static until I fall asleep!

      2. Me too RogerA. VErtappen says he ain’t got mental pressure. that’s the sole reason people hire youngsters…

    2. TBH, I’d not mind having this one at Moscow in the calendar. Soichi is awful, from it’s conception to actual result, better to try new things.

    3. From here, Moscow’s layout looks more interesting. I don’t know what is this with countries new to F1 wanting to host races in remote places when having it close to major cities should be easier.

  2. Although it looks lot similar to COTA, the new Russian track is miles better than the Sochi track. They should consider racing here.

    1. Have you seen any of the WTC or F-Renault (?) races there? zzzz!

      1. I gotta hit Youtube for some footage. Layout looks fine from here.

      2. WTCC races weren’t too bad there, but DTM and FR3.5 were really boring.

    2. Its actually worse, The WSBR races there have always been awful.

    3. @icemangrins The Formula Renault 3.5 and 2.0 races there this year were very poor, and I don’t remember their earlier ones being any better.

      1. A further point on Moscow Raceay, keep in mind it’s quite a bit shorter than most new F1 tracks – under 4km, compared to the typical 5.5 to 6km. That in itself is not a bad thing but when looking at a flat image of the layout that means the straights are shorter and the corners are tighter than you might assume.

        1. I think I’d rather have a borefest at the Moscow track than a borefest at the Sochi track.

  3. I have to say the Moscow track looks reasonably interesting. Better than Sochi, that’s for sure.

    1. @vmaxmuffin They should use one of ours :P

  4. That Moscow Raceway looks really cool! The sweeping middle section looks challenging, and it’s anti-clockwise, too. Let’s hope they use that instead of Sochi next year.

  5. Moscow Raceway still looks like a pretty generic Tilkedrome, with no unique features whatsoever. It sort of looks like an incredibly skinny version of the India track.

  6. To all those thinking the Moscow raceway is better than Sochi, Its hosted a couple WSBR, DTM & F3 races the past few years & every single one of them has been utterly terrible.

    The F1 race at Sochi may have been a bit dull but at least the GP2/GP3 races (As well as the opening laps in the F1 race & Nico/Massas drives through the field) showed that its a circuit that can produce good racing & can produce overtaking which the Moscow Raceway has consistently showed that it can’t.

  7. Portugal 1984, what a missed opportunity, such a shame, if only they had had DRS and designed-to-fail tyres it might have been an exciting race.

  8. Caterham calling wrapping a broken wishbone in carbon fibre “a normal procedure” is hilarious… On the bright side at least they didn’t have to go the cable tie and duct tape route.

    1. There is silver duct tape on the left of his suspension picture, and gray duct tape on the right…

    2. Well, those rumours of being short on parts were true after all. And also, that Kobayashi got – at least of the – the older parts, which might explain his unexpected lack of speed compared to Ericsson in Sochi.

      Everybody said Ericsson’s knowledge of the track from his Japanese F3 days helped him in Suzuka, but even then it might have been at least partly down to having newer parts.

      1. This team will not live to see the red lights go out in Melbourne next year, I think I might add.

      2. They both had new parts at suzuka. It’s just that Ericsson didn’t crash and break his.

    3. A qualified engineer can easily verify if the structural integrity of the fix is intact.
      Aesthetics and functionality don’t always work hand hand in hand.

  9. Why wouldn’t Lotus go ahead and just run the nose this year and learn as much as they could in racing conditions? It’s not like they’re going to give up any points they might have won or lost any position to Marussia or Caterham….so what have they to lose? Do EVERYTHING for 2015 now.

  10. I’m a bit annoyed that Hulk and Force India are having their best seasons to date so far and people are still thinking of this partnership as a career death sentence instead of, possibly, an opportunity to build the team into a race-winning organization the way Hill did with Jordan.

    1. Thing is, it would need serious investment, as well as finally starting to develop the car during the season, something FI hasn’t been able to do for the past couple of years, and financial state of its owners make it highly unlikely they suddenly will for next year @rjoconnel

    2. @rjoconnell I think Boullier summed up by saying if you’re seriously looking at winning a WDC or WCC that you can’t do it with a customer engine deal, you need an exclusive deal. The last decade would seem to prove that theory true. So if FI are serious, they’d need to attract an exclusive engine deal like McLaren did with Honda, or RBR with Renault.

  11. Well, if Caterham goes I hope the F1 community commits to keeping Marussia, for the sake of the experiment with the new teams.

    This is bad for F1. It’s bad for it’s future. And I don’t think anyone with the power has any interest in fixing it.

  12. I’d like to see the actual verbiage behind that agreement for the FOM IPO; that’s awfully vague. That said, as much as I hate to say it, I wouldn’t necessarily mind F1 being knocked off its pedestal for a bit. Seems like it might be the only way to get to a point where the series can be seriously revamped and fixed. Yes, in so many ways the sport is better than ever, but it all seems unsustainable, one large house of cards.

  13. Strange article about Abu Dhabi. It reads like its something of an advert, but to me it does an equally good job of showing why I wouldn’t ever be interested in such a trip.

    From a 150 USD helicopter flight over the “marvels” of Abu Dhabi, to paying for visiting a huger than life Ferrari advert and a glamorous but boring F1 race, topped off by plumbing in the hotel being sub par (and hinting this is something to be expected commonly in the UAE), it really does a great job of showing why the attraction fails.

    1. People give Abu Dhabi too much of a hard time, yes it hasnt created any spectacular racing but in terms of hospitality and quality its right up there. None of the other circuits ive been to thank you on the way out or have an excellent live show afterwards (we saw Prince for free after the 2010 finale). Getting out of the circuit was totally hassle free, and you are pretty much guaranteed fine weather. Compare that to the hospitality at Silverstone this year with G4S security being totally rude and queuing for 3 hours to get out the circuit and the entertainment being a film about F1 deaths then its not so bad!

      1. Yes, I do get the sense that the people running it are trying hard to make it a great experience @jdsunset. But all of it just feels like exactly the kind of thing I would like to avoid on my holidays.

        1. hahah fair enough! My views are slightly biased as the whole trip was paid for by a friends brother so that always gives you more enjoyment when its free!

      2. @jdsunset

        the entertainment being a film about F1 deaths

        Are we talking ‘1: Life at the Limit’ or (hopefully not) ‘Grand Prix: The Killer Years’?

        1. I think it was Grand Prix: The Killer Years. It was on the main stage after qualifying before ABC played.. It was a big sea of sad faces watching drivers being pulled out of burning cars.. Someone else who was there may be able to correct me

      3. @jdsunset I am not a fan of Abu Dhabi even if the place looks really glamorous. But I think that most European circuits have some work to do to improve the customer experience. Racing and atmosphere might be enough to make a fanatic like me pay lots of $ to go to a circuit that has old-fashioned facilities (e.g. in Hockenheim it is hard to even find a shade if you are not in the covered grandstands) and mediocre or bad traffic organisation. But if you want to attract 100 thousand people every year, you need to offer more.

        I guess the circuits will claim that they cannot afford to invest money after paying the high fees to FOM but they should at least make a few improvements if they want to remain globally competitive.

        1. I personally found the Nurburgring to be the least enjoyable. They wouldnt let people take their own drinks in, everything u buy has to bought on some dumb NurburgRing Credit card, lack of pubs and no possibility of sleeping in the campsites due to to ridiculous sound systems in the back of semi trucks. Also the washing facilities, a water bowser with a tap on it. Made me laugh a lot. That was 2009 so maybe they have sorted it out now!

          1. @jdsunset Haha, I was there in 2009, too! I was staying at a hotel in Koblenz but I remember the “ring card” very well, I think I still have it as a souvenir. It was just weird and annoying. According to their website, “since 1 May 2014 cash is accepted again at the Nurburgring.”

            Significant investments in the facilities were actually made right before the 2009 race. The new ring boulevard was nice but they also had wasted a lot of money on unnecessary things like the roller coaster and faced financial collapse a few years later. So I guess Nurburgring is not the best example!

          2. Yeah, was also brilliant to see Lewis loving his new upgrades to the MP4-29, never forget standing at the last chicane with a vodka redbull shouting at the timing screens!

  14. How is that Caterham “fix” not over the news everywhere by now? This has Simtek written all over it!

    1. Yeah – I had to check it wasn’t one of the 1994 series of articles.
      Same with those Sauber test drivers the other day – all sorts of characters popping up behind the wheel at Lotus, Larrousse and Simtek near the end of the season.

  15. Things just keep getting worse for Caterham. I’m not going to have a team to support next year, am I?

  16. So for Bernie there are now million countries.
    Yes, I know, it`s just an expression.

    1. @jaanusl Hyperbole by a factor of 5,102.

      1. @jaanusl @keithcollantine I was thinking the same. Unless Bernie is looking at countries on other planets…

        1. Yeah-yeah.
          The rumor has it that the first one will take place on the Moon. Main sponsor is rumored to be Johnnie Walker. But as the laws there are “out of this world” all the signs would read – Johnnie Moonwalker.

          Quite awful joke, but somebody had to do it.

      2. @jaanusl @keithcollantine C’mon guys, we all know Bernie’s smallest unit of measurement is the “million”. He’s doing a reasonable approximation with that scale.

    2. Yeah, no wonder he keeps signing new races, as he is in a rush to go through all the countries. Also, as far as I know, Las Vegas isn’t a country.

  17. If I was Hülkenberg I wouldn’t stay around in F1. He’s clearly not going to get a chance in a top car because of ‘reasons’. There is besides the current grid also quite some fresh meat in the feeder series. He could be a DTM champion or even a WRC star…

    1. Not too many competitive openings there. He is still one of the few drivers getting paid in F1.

  18. @keithcollantine Thanks for the COTD :)

  19. the people at spa are just thinking about it now the q50 Eau Rouge has been written at the back of red bull for quiet a while why did they allowed them to name it that in the first place and i dont know why it would make any difference they are both different things a car and a race track

    1. According to the European Trade Mark registry Spa Circuit registered (made Application to register) L’Eau Rouge in 2009 for clocks, watches, timepieces etc. Then they registered it in August 2013 for restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels etc. Finally they registered it on 9 December 2013 for transportation over land, water etc.
      But that was after Nissan registered it for Vehicles etc on 2 December 2013.
      Looks to me as though Nissan did publicity stills of the car (http://www.infinitiusa.com/now/future-vehicles/q50-eau-rouge.html) at the foot of Raidillon late November/early December last year, then registered the Trade Mark, after which Spa Circuit suddenly realised what was going on and tried to register anything they could to thwart Nissan.
      Have Nissan pulled a fast one, or did Spa not predict/react well?

      1. To me, it just looks like the lawyers for Spa are on the lookout for a paycheque.
        When you see quotes like

        It’s like they want to steal the brand from the circuit

        then you know the people filing suit don’t actually understand how trademarks work. No-one’s going to confuse a Nissan with a fancy name for one of the most famous pieces of tarmac in the world.

        The ACO (owners of Sarthe) are fine with Bentley using the name ‘Mulsanne’, and there was no fuss from the Schwarzwald circuit owners when Vauxhall released the Corsa ‘Nürburgring’, so why aren’t the owners of Spa OK with Nissan using ‘Eau Rouge’?

        1. Have Bentley and Vauxhall actually trademarked the names though? Thats what seems to be the issue, its not exactly their name to trademark

          1. You can trademark anything you like as long as it is not a term in common usage or the subject of a prior registration.
            I would not be able to register a word like “Circuit” because it is in normal, everyday use with a variety of meanings. But I could register a term like “Skett” because it does not have any common use, meaning or prior registration (don’t think so, anyway).
            For the record, “Mulsanne” is heavily registered by Bentley, but it’s also registered by a company called ‘Mulsanne Management’ of Mexico who describe themselves as “Luxury, Sports, Classic & Race Car Brokers”.

  20. If Kobayashi was that scared, he wouldn’t have driven the car.

    1. Don’t forget he is one of the most fearless drivers out there!

  21. ‘Certain contracts could be terminated if we ceased to be the premier racing series for single-seater cars’. And what exactly would determine that?

    1. @stigsemperfi I touched on this in another article on this site (https://www.racefans.net/2014/09/30/dna-formula-one/comment-page-1/#comment-2576646) and I believe that if Formula One was no longer the pinnacle of motorsport for open-wheel single seater cars, then it cannot be the premier racing series for single-seater cars surely?

  22. Regarding Max’s comments about mental strength…part of me thinks those are the words of a young person who doesn’t know any better, and hasn’t the experience yet to be making such claims. Part of me wants to say, and rightly so, wait until you are fighting for wins and the WDC in a F1 car and then you will truly know what pressure is, and what is a true test of mental strength, of which you cannot possibly experience until you are there, and certainly not from F3.

    But part of me wants to believe that Max wouldn’t be hired so young and hyped so much as a Senna unless there was some truth to it, in which case this talk of mental strength being bs is something I can see a protege saying, and thinking, and believing. He sounds cocky enough to be an F1 racer, and maybe even a genius, so it’s going to be fun seeing what he’s got.

    And that’s the point. Genius or not, he’s going to have to show us on the track and do the journey no matter what he or anyone says. It comes down to actions speaking louder than words. Particularly when his actions are taking place when the pressure is truly at it’s greatest, and that won’t be for a while yet. Not until he is on a better team than Torro Rosso. By then he’ll be very very good at driving an F1 car, like they all are…but at racing them? And at dealing with the mental aspect at it’s peak when that is almost all that separates the top drivers? He’ll have to be there for us (and he) to see.

  23. The Moscow track is not too bad, but there are two major problems with it. First of all, its location: even though it has ‘Moscow’ in its name, the track is still two hours away from Moscow. The other problem is track limits, which meant there were many penalties during the F3 races earlier this year (especially the corner before the long straight).

    That being said, I suppose it’s an improvement over Sochi, but that’s about it.

  24. maybe off topic, but, take a look at this: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aut%C3%B3dromo_Oscar_y_Juan_G%C3%A1lvez. I’ll love to see F1 on the circuit n°15!

Comments are closed.