Kobayashi could lose Sauber seat without sponsor

F1 Fanatic round-up

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. Silverkeg (@silverkeg) said on 12th October 2012, 6:58

    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.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 12th October 2012, 7:16

      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.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th October 2012, 7:17

      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.

    • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 12th October 2012, 7:31

      @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.

      • Silverkeg (@silverkeg) said on 12th October 2012, 7:56

        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.

        • 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.

  2. Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 12th October 2012, 7:16

    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!

  3. Snafu (@snafu) said on 12th October 2012, 8:13

    Perhaps Twitter is not for me.

    A big relief for Mercedes PR department.

  4. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 12th October 2012, 8:25

    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?

  5. Mads (@mads) said on 12th October 2012, 8:39

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

    Only Kimi.

  6. Wallbreaker (@wallbreaker) said on 12th October 2012, 11:55

    Very sporting by Villeneuve, really…

  7. 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.

  8. Luca (@F1Britalian22) said on 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!

    • 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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