Caterham F1 Team
|Career statistics to end 2013|
He’s back! And many F1 insiders will be very glad to see Kobayashi again after feeling that his ousting by Sauber was less than the Japanese deserved after a combative and often productive 2012 season, his most recent in Grand Prix racing.
Kobayashi came into F1 as a replacement for the injured Timo Glock at Toyota in the 2009 Brazilian Grand Prix and scored points when he finished sixth second time out in Abu Dhabi to finish the year.
While Toyota did not hang around in F1, Kamui did: he joined Sauber and raced for them for the next three seasons, the crowning achievement being a highly popular podium finish in Japan towards the end of 2012.
Last year he was taken under the Ferrari wing, racing in the World Endurance Championship as well as helping with F1 development work, and could have continued in that vein for 2014.
Instead, and laudably, he has chosen to race – and he is doing so for free. Desperate to prolong a career which he thinks still has great potential, Kobayashi launched ‘Kamui Support’ and the money raised from fans and sponsors will go to his new team.
“It’s a chance to start again with a new team,” he says, “but one that’s serious about progressing. Physically and mentally I’m fully prepared, now I just want to get back to work.”