Kamui Kobayashi loses Sauber seat for 2013

2013 F1 season

Kamui Kobayashi, Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, Yas Marina, 2012The confirmation of Esteban Gutierrez at Sauber for 2013 leaves current driver Kamui Kobayashi without a seat for next year.

Gutierrez’s team mate will be Nico Hulkenberg, as was confirmed last month.

Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn paid tribute to Kobayashi: “Over the last three years Kamui has shown us he is not only a fierce competitor on the track, but also a wonderful person and fantastic team player.

“Every member of our team has the greatest respect for him, and his podium in Japan was a particularly emotional moment for all of us. This has not been an easy decision for us to take, but we have committed ourselves to a new beginning and our time with Kamui will come to an end after the final two races of the season.

“We wish Kamui all the best for the future. Our thanks also go to Sergio Perez, who has claimed three podiums for the team so far and now has the opportunity at McLaren-Mercedes to display his immense talent with one of the most successful teams in Formula One history. We would also like to wish Sergio all the best and every success for the future.”

Kobayashi joined Sauber in 2010 (when it was still BMW Sauber) after making his F1 debut for Toyota in the last two races of 2009.

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97 comments on Kamui Kobayashi loses Sauber seat for 2013

  1. BasCB (@bascb) said on 23rd November 2012, 11:39

    I guess its a tough sport.

    For now, lets be happy about the superb podium in Japan (i am still convinced that he knew already that it would be the highlight of his career), and off course those delicious overtaking maneuvers he pulled off in places where “it’s impossible to pass”

  2. His only posiible options would be FI, Williams, Caterham, Marussia, HRT any of them would be a step back. FI, I dont know, I think it will be Algersuaris seat.
    Williams, if Bottas comes in to replace Senna I will be annoyed more.
    And any of the “new” teams would be a disaster for him, I think Heikki showed that those teams are the slow way out of F1.

  3. barkun (@barkun) said on 23rd November 2012, 11:51

    shame !!

    hope Koba gets a Williams seat at least !

  4. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 23rd November 2012, 11:55

    I’m trying to think of the best word to summarise my feelings on this. So far, “nonplussed” is the best I can come up with.

    I can see why Kobayashi is popular with fans. I can see why Kobayashi might be good for Formula 1. But what I can’t see is what Kobayashi has done to justify another season with Sauber.

    When he first entered the sport, Kamui Kobayashi was heralded as a star of the future, someone who had the potential and the drive to go places and do things that most young drivers could only dream of. And, after three seasons, I can honestly say that Kobasyahi has completely failed to meet those expectations. He scored a podium in Japan this year, and that’s great – but when the first wave of Kobayashi Fever came crashing down on Formula 1, an outsider would be forgiven for thinking that he had scored a podium on debut.

    I get why people are disappointed by Sauber’s decision, but if I were the one who had to make the decision on whether or not to keep Kobayashi for 2013, I honestly doubt that I’d do anything differently.

  5. GELMAX said on 23rd November 2012, 12:03

    Sad to see Kamui’s leaving. But it is not Sauber’s fault, it is just business. Sauber brought Kamui in with expectation of Japanese money, but hey, Jpn isn’t doing well economic wise, lots of corporates funding are gone, Panasonic has just lost all they earn in past 20 years, Sony has been black hole for investors for several seasons. Sauber has no choice to go where the money is. Keeping a good driver like Kamui or going bankrupt without sponsorship.
    Asking anyone of us in Sauber’s shoe, what will be the best decision?

  6. Howard (@howard) said on 23rd November 2012, 12:04

    And how do you rate Perez this season compared to Kobayashi?

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 23rd November 2012, 12:17

      Better than, if I’m totally honest.

      • Howard (@howard) said on 23rd November 2012, 12:23

        How better?
        It’s not like Perez totally smashed Kobayashi to bits.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 23rd November 2012, 21:57

          The final points tally isn’t the only measure of a driver’s ability. For instance, Perez scored three podiums in two years. Kobayashi has scored one podium in three years, and he only got it after Perez picked up his three podiums.

          If Kobayashi is better than Perez, why us Perez going to McLaren? Don’t say money – Perez doesn’t bring so much as a peso to McLaren.

          • Howard (@howard) said on 23rd November 2012, 23:36

            True points,

            Also some of Perez points came from very good team race strategy while some of Kamui race strategy was like ???

            You could say Perez has better speed in qualify where Kamui lacks his consistency there.

          • Howard (@howard) said on 23rd November 2012, 23:44

            Mclaren has future backup sponsor if need be (Vodafone future not secure?).
            Slim is now major player in F1.
            The 2 mexican drivers are privleged to have such heavy duty backing.
            Any driver would love to gave that.
            If Kamui had his own Japanese version of Slim Billionaire backing him than Force India or the like would have come to him for sure.

      • GELMAX said on 23rd November 2012, 13:11

        Perez is definitely more talented and more skillful,
        he has the ability to squeeze out every drop out of the Sauber’s car, however, Kamui is a stable driver with more consistency. But you cannot win of being nice and humble, you need that rawness and pure wild genius to get to the top. And make the game more watchable.

  7. I’m extremely saddened by this. Vijay, please sign him up.

    • The world of F1 can be harsh. But id rather have Bianchi in that second FI seat. It would be better to give a rookie an opportunity than to have the seat filled by a known quantity,who,to be honest,isnt really top-class.

  8. LawFish (@lawfish) said on 23rd November 2012, 13:29

    One of my favourite drivers too. Let’s hope he gets a good seat for next season!

  9. I’d like to see him at Williams replacing Senna who is a bit of a non event…

  10. Kimi4WDC said on 23rd November 2012, 13:50

    Don’t want to support Sauber if this leads to Kaumi’s F1 exit. But then they got Hulkenberg and he is an amazing driver and person :(

  11. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 23rd November 2012, 13:59

    Really gutted by this news. I know there were rumours but after what Kaltenborn said about money not being a driving factor for Kobayashi’s seat it offered a glimmer of hope. Either I’m being naive there…or he’s lost his seat because they just don’t think he’s good enough. At least he managed to get on the podium at his home race which is a fitting tribute if this is the end of his career.

    I think he deserves a drive elsewhere based on his skill.

  12. camo8723 (@camo8723) said on 23rd November 2012, 14:03

    Yesterday Kamui uploaded a video on his Youtube channel, some people translated it says more or less: “The point of this video is that Kamui started a fundraising campaign on his official website and opened a bank account in Japan. Kamui asks Japanese fans to help him financially to get a competitive seat´╗┐ in 2013″.
    Another person said the same “Kamui is asking for contributions at his web site to get a seat of next season”.

    Here it is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7FY2eGSL88&lc=i3FzZKeTeiF8rmb06HT73yJ64dvifPZ45CeEYkKrQIs&lch=email_reply&feature=em-comment_reply_received

    • It’s pretty sad that talented drivers are having to resort to begging for money TBH…

      He should release an international fundraising campaign too though. I can only find the support page on the JP site (good news you get a wristband!)

  13. James (@goodyear92) said on 23rd November 2012, 14:06

    It’s a shame to see someone like Kamui making a possible exit from the sport. He may not have been as frequently brilliant as Perez this season — though, I feel his podium was Sauber’s best — but he still possesses a large amount of talent. His issue is that, like Perez, he’s still a little rough around the edges. He seems to have more natural speed than Sergio, but just doesn’t seem as able to bring home the big points. I think this clouds people’s view of the actual differences between the two, which has resulted in one jumping in to what might be the best seat on the grid for next season, and the other looking likely to bid farewell to the sport after this race.

  14. tobinen (@tobinen) said on 23rd November 2012, 14:23

    At least he can go back to the sushi restaurant…

    It’s no surprise really, it’s been building up to this. Will Senna grab the Force India seat? Bottas seems a shoe-in at Williams

  15. It is a shame that KOB is losing his sit at Sauber, I really think he is a great driver. But I don’t think people are giving Gutierrez enough credit fo getting that seat. He is a pay driver, no doubt about it, but he also has a phenomenal racing curriculum I think (BMW, GP3 champion and GP2 3rd place). Even if he is pay driver, he is in F1 for a reason and he really has earned his sit at sauber by his own merit. He is 21 years old and as soon as he gets some rythm in F1 I’m sure that he is gonna show some real talent. Anyway, I really wish Koba gets a seat at Force India instead of Sutil. Hate to see him go

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