Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Monza, 2012

Kobayashi says he won’t be in F1 in 2013

2013 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Monza, 2012Kamui Kobayashi says he will not be racing in Formula One in 2013.

Writing on his official website, Kobayashi thanked his fans for contributing to a fund for him to race in F1 next year. Over ??1.35m (??184m) has been raised so far.

Kobayashi expressed gratitude for the “big support” he has received, adding he “appreciated that many of you have donated and trying to make donations.”

“I must mention this that since the donation started, it has become quite big news in Japan. And because of your big support, it gave huge influences to some of Japanese companies and I started receiving good support from them.

“And I was in the position to bring a budget of ??8m (??6.5m) at least. If you could imagine the time I had, it was overwhelming reaction and it shows there still is a great potential from Japanese companies.

“Unfortunately, the time was still short and I am not able to secure the seat with competitive F1 team for 2013. I have to admit that it is very sad and feel sorry for fans and Japanese companies who supported me. But I am still confident to make it happen in 2014.

“I would like to stop the donation for now and while I will save all the money for 2014, I start to look what is the best option for 2013 and also 2014. My main priority is to secure the competitive F1 seat in 2014.”

Kobayashi said he is not interested in racing in another series. “I will make an announcement as soon as I make a decision for 2013,” he concluded.

There are four remaining seats not officially occupied for 2013. Earlier today Lotus announced Romain Grosjean will remain with them next year.

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77 comments on “Kobayashi says he won’t be in F1 in 2013”

  1. That’s a shame, and I’m afraid I don’t see him getting a drive in 2014 either. Very few drivers have managed to get into a competitive drive after a year out, though it would be great if Kamui could do it.

    Failing that, I think he would awesome in IndyCar.

    1. @lin1876

      I think he would awesome in IndyCar.

      Definitely!

    2. Exactly that @lin1876, and I would think that with a budget close to 10 Million USD he should be able to get a very decent car in the series too.

  2. Sad to see him not racing in 2013. He is a great driver and i hope he will be back in 2014. does this means that Alguersuari will be in the force india next season ?

  3. Since this is coming almost straight after the Grosjean announcement, I take it he had talks with lotus going on.

    Sad to see him go in a way but i reckon he’d make a great Indycar driver.

    1. mmm… good point

    2. Kamui doesn’t want to do any other racing, he’s committed to getting back into F1.. And I believe he will be back, and he will win races.

  4. One word: Gutted.

    1. @geemac +1. The only word I can say without resorting to expletives

      1. Plus another one, the pity is, for I think it would have been unfair to get rid of Grosjean too.

        Koby is obviously a fan favorite, so it’s sad to see him out of a drive.

        1. Yeah that’s the thing. There are a lot of drivers who deserve seats but there are only 22 out there, someone has to lose out.

          1. “only 22 of them”. Which in itself is a crying shame; there ought to be 26 of them.

  5. Man, as much as i support Grosjean as a Frenchman (and UK-lover at the same time !), i was half-hoping for a miracle in the form of KK getting the second seat at Lotus… I don’t know what the best deal for him would be this year? Surely he can’t just sit and wait…
    Could he set his eyes on a Torro Rosso seat next year ? No, that sounds ridiculous: they always fill them with youngsters (although Bourdais….)
    Or maybe in for a retiring Massa ? One can dream, uh ?

  6. Though I really like Kobayashi, I think this is for the best. If you look at his Formula 1 career: he hasn’t had that many highs, but he has certainly impressed a lot of people with his driving skills. From those few races he drove in 2009 to the fabulous overtakes he pulled in the years after that, he has never failed to entertain. But he has never been acknowledged as ‘the next big thing’, in contrast to for instance Pérez and Hülkenberg. And though he will undoubtedly be missed next year, I think it is only fair for a ‘star in the making’ to make his first F1 appearance.

    Kobayashi hasn’t had many highs, but the summit of his career was enormous. The story of the 2012 Japanese GP I think will be remembered by many people: those watching the race from the stands, but also Formula 1 fans like you and me. And even if Kobayashi would have got another year in Formula 1, that result surely can’t be emulated.

    1. @andae23
      Ithink he really impressed with his defensive drive against the champioship leader (Button) in 2009, we havent seen anything like that at this years Brazilian GP. In 2010 he showed how to overtake at Suzuka in the hairpin. Those two races that has been embedded in my memory from him. And of course this years Suzuka with the podium. Strange that you say Perez and Hülkemberg.

      IMO Perez really just showed that he can make his tyres last long with a car that was the easiest on its tyres, and scored 3 podiums from forced alternative strategies. I think Kamui could have achieved a podium or two in Perez’s place, but he reached q3 on those occasions. On the other hand, when he could have achieved something impressive, particulary in Belgium, RoGro happened.

      Hülkemberg was realy impressive with his 2010 podium, but apart from that he had not mutch to show apart from his consistency. But as the 2012 season went by, he started showing promise with his doble overtake on RoGro and Ham in Korea, or his drive in Brasil.

      And if I think that Grosjean had another opportunity after his drive 2009 , and even now, after a miserable season, I just dont get it. What Perez have done to earn a drive in a McLaren, what RoGro have done to keep his seat, and what Kamui have done to lose his seat? Life is not fair, but I think he is still in a better position than any of us:)

      1. Sorry 2010 podium pole

      2. @bag0

        Strange that you say Perez and Hülkemberg.

        It’s all in the details: I said that Perez and Hulkenberg have been seen ‘by others’ as a talent for the future. Both have been linked to Ferrari and McLaren, and now Perez has been confirmed at the latter. I doubt Perez’ talent probably as much as you do, though I think Hülkenberg really is something special.

        Regarding your final paragraph: I don’t know if Perez earned that McLaren seat after just two years in Formula 1 and also Grosjean’s confirmation is questionable. In my opinion, Kobayashi simply has not more potential – for instance I don’t see him win a Grand Prix. And his amazing podium for me justifies that he has had a career that he can be proud of. Apart from squabbling for a few more years, I don’t see the point in keeping Kobayashi in Formula 1 for another year.

        1. @andae23 Strange. Judging by his partnership with Perez and also his ability to resist pressure from even faster cars(like Buttion in Japan) I have no doubt that had he went to Mclaren instead of Perez he would’ve won multiple races.

          1. @montreal95 But did he go to McLaren?
            Even before the 2012 season started, I reckoned there was no chance that Kobayashi would be picked up by either McLaren, Ferrari, Red Bull, Lotus or Mercedes.

            Don’t get me wrong: I like the guy and think he is a very gifted driver, but I don’t see the point in retaining him as he didn’t really have a prosperous future in F1.

          2. @andae23 Well, it’s your opinion and I respect it even though I continue to disagree. There’s no objective reason he couldn’t have gone to a top team and done well there. It’s all a matter of perception, and perception can be changed with a bit of luck, which is the main thing KK lacked in his career, apart from its 2009 beginning

            Also judging by your logic every driver should retire at the first sign that he would never be picked by top teams. So with that in mind we would’ve never got Mansell or even Button for example as WDC. Webber shouuld’ve retired as soon as he realized that the once mighty Williams had crap cars, etc. etc

            Those who give up early, are the real losers of this world IMO

          3. Also judging by your logic every driver should retire at the first sign that he would never be picked by top teams. So with that in mind we would’ve never got Mansell or even Button for example as WDC. Webber shouuld’ve retired as soon as he realized that the once mighty Williams had crap cars, etc. etc

            @montreal95 That’s of course not what I think. For me, Kobayashi has had a real peak with his podium in Japan and I don’t see how he can get near that in the rest of his career.

      3. IMO Perez really just showed that he can make his tyres last long with a car that was the easiest on its tyres, and scored 3 podiums from forced alternative strategies. I think Kamui could have achieved a podium or two in Perez’s place, but he reached q3 on those occasions.

        In Malaysia Perez wasn’t on any different strategy to the rest of the field. In Canada Kobayashi didn’t make Q3, the same as Perez. In India Kobayashi qualified 17th and was exactly on the same strategy and the same situation as Perez at Monza. Result? Abysmal P14 in the race.

        And if I think that Grosjean had another opportunity after his drive 2009 , and even now, after a miserable season, I just dont get it. What Perez have done to earn a drive in a McLaren, what RoGro have done to keep his seat, and what Kamui have done to lose his seat? Life is not fair, but I think he is still in a better position than any of us:)

        You don’t get it, teams get it. You probably didn’t notice Perez was more than 1 second per lap faster than Kobayashi in Singapore, team did notice.

    2. Couldn’t disagree more. He’s capable of much, much more than has been seen. And was very unlucky this year. He’s much better than the Massa and Webber’s of this world. So as long as they remain in F1 he should be there too imho.

      1. If only F1 would work like that :(

      2. Ferrari and Red Bull think Massa and Webber are much better than Kobayashi, as they even didn’t consider hiring him.

  7. With the way that the driver lineups are going so far considering what is left, it is looking like Glock and Chilton at Marussia with Sutil and Di Resta at FI. The only question is at Caterham, where there is Heikki and Vitaly to choose to partner Pic next year (barring any outside drivers, but think they will almost definitely stick with one of those two). I think the fact that Alguersuari hasnt found a drive shows that it will be hard in 2014 for Kamui. Jaime did himself no favors, however, by not really entering any major events this year and sitting in the comms box. Surely a Le Mans outing, a testing seat or a DTM drive would have prepared him better and kept him in the motorsport radar more. This is why I hope KK decides to actually do another form of racing or at least go testing. It is always better to be out there gaining some reputation in something than sitting at home being forgotten about.

    He could always try and get a McLaren test role, now he knows someone on the inside ;)

    1. Um, I think Alguersuari did a couple of laps for some tyre company or other?

  8. Truly gutted, but not entirely unexpected. I believe this will be the end of the road of F1 for KK. I still feel Sauber have screwed him over with rather amateur contrasting strategies when qualifying higher up the grid than Perez. A case of what could have been…

    1. I think Sauber screwed his career although they had no choice considering the money Telemex is bringing in.

    2. Kobayashi screwed himself with his driving and not showing enough to keep teams interested in his services.

      1. @armchairexpert Care to elaborate how did he “screw himself” with his driving? I think his driving was pretty great and consistent over the 3 years and on par with the Mclaren bound Perez this year

        1. He was too slow, as simple as that. It’s very telling even with 10 millions in pocket Force India won’t choose Kobayashi as a driver and this is the same team which picked up Hulkenberg and actually paid for his talent.

  9. guitierez (?) looks like he’s too young to be racing at such a high level. Kobyashi and hulkenburg would have been a killer partnership. Perez never excited me (nor did Button, so Mclaren will become a rather ‘boring’ team IMO in 2013) but Kobyashi did. he’s someone you really remember. and he’s the sports only Japanese link these days. So glad he got that podium in suzuka. It’ll stick in my mind for a long time :)

    1. okey i cnt speel ether lol :)

    2. Just remember Sauber chose to replace Koba with Hulk, not with Gutiérrez, everyone thinks it was the other way around because Hulk’s arrival was anounced first, but a team like Sauber has to have some backing from at least one driver to survive, let alone to make progress, my point is that a Hulk-Koba pairing was never going to happen.

      1. Not unless some Japanese company was wise enough to become a big sponsor. Then I believe Herr Sauber would’ve told Slimy to stick Gutierrez contract where the sun don’t shine, as he once told Dr. Helmet regarding Bernoldi. But it’s all ifs and but*s (sorry couldn’t resist)

        1. Imagine if they took Bernoldi over Kimi! Imagine we never had Kimi racing in F1. That’s just too much.

  10. I wont really miss him. I hardly noticed he was racing in 2012.

  11. Really sorry for him. He may not be a huge star but he was entertaining, had flashes of brillance and was fast too.
    @keithcollantine
    Am lil confused. The website says he will not be racing in F1 next year. But not that he wont be in F1 at all. Coz i think there is a possibilty of him becoming a reserve or test driver for any of the midfield teams. Only Sauber has confirmed their reserve driver. I guess teams like FI or Williams maybe interested.

  12. Firstly I’ll say I love Kobayashi, I will never forget the chanting in Japan. However I do feel that the donation he has received is unjust and that he should hand it back or donate it to a worthy charity. While I hate the idea of having pay drivers, I know F1 can’t get away from it, especially in the current economic situation. But I really don’t like how Kobayashi went about raising money for himself. While I really do have sympathy for Kobayashi, I would sooner give a donation to someone who has to sleep on the streets then to someone who has already achieved what most of us can only dream of, not to mention etching a moment in F1 fans minds that they will never forget.

    1. I really don’t like how Kobayashi went about raising money for himself. While I really do have sympathy for Kobayashi, I would sooner give a donation to someone who has to sleep on the streets then to someone who has already achieved what most of us can only dream of

      No one was obliged to give Kobayashi money. If they’d rather help fund Kobayashi’s career, rather than help the less fortunate, then that’s their decision.

    2. I think it’s important to note that the money he raised from the fans was used to prove to unnamed Japanese corporations that “Kobayashi the F1 driver” is a brand that people connect with and would therefore give any companies attached to him positive exposure. The amount the fans raised was only important to indicate how much Kobayashi’s participation meant to the Japanese people.

      In retrospect, that is probably why the fundraising was done in Japanese only: his potential Japanese backers had to see what the potential impact would be in their home market.

      1. I think it’s important to note that the money he raised from the fans was used to prove to unnamed Japanese corporations that “Kobayashi the F1 driver” is a brand that people connect with and would therefore give any companies attached to him positive exposure.

        exactly that @ral, as he mentioned in his statement, it generated enough positive press have companies get interested and top up the fans’ money by another 5,5 Million GBP, that is not a small feat in just a month or so.

  13. This is the exact same thing that happened to Hulkenberg last year. Such a great driver, hope to see him soon in F1.

  14. Ah man, that’s really disappointing, I really hope can find a seat for 2014. He doesn’t deserve to be out of F1, there are drivers he is as good as that will be in F1 next year, so I hope he returns soon.

  15. This is a disgrace, I can’t believe F1 is letting such a great driver leave, at least his only aim is a seat in 2014. I find it comforting hearing him say that he’s not looking at any other racing series, it makes him very focused on what he wants. And now, the Japanese companies know how much support Kamui has and they can see the opportunities and benefits they could get from sponsoring Kamui.

    1. I can’t believe F1 is letting such a great driver leave

      If he was really so great, he would not be leaving …

      1. @prisoner-monkeys

        So, Hulkenburg left for a year… He’s regarded as a future great by many.

        Also yeah, my inner hippy says that negativity is a bummer dude.

        1. Exactly, Williams made a huge mistake dropping Hulk. But it’s not the first time they’ve made mistakes like that. I think they’ve got really bad management system or something, because they’ve been going backwards for years.

          Kobayashi falls into the same category. He should be fighting for wins with a top team, but unfortunately the likes of Massa and Webber continue to get chances even though they’re never likely to threaten their team mates.

  16. So because he announced this immediately after Grosjean was announced at Lotus, he must have been in negotiation with the team. That’s proof that he’s not under-rated on the grid, as Grosjean, despite his obvious flaws, is damn fast. Kobayashi should go grab a big Japanese company and get a seat for 2014. Maybe he could even convince Honda to come back?

    1. I agree.. Well he did manage to get 8 million euro’s in sponsorship, which is not bad.. And he will have a year to work on increasing that figure and to talk to other teams. Who know’s the future. Maybe Honda come back with Williams or something.

  17. If Marussia and Caterham want to get 1 point in near future, Koby was the best they could get, the rest is at the back 0 pionts.

    1. I completely agree. I would rate Kobayashi much higher than Kovalainen.. who honestly has only impressed me in his rookie year.

      I think Kobayashi and Pic would be a better driver pairing than their current line up.

  18. Shane (@shane-pinnell)
    17th December 2012, 23:02

    Bad news… Kobayashi deserves a ride, a hard fought and well earned podium in a mid-field car has to earn this 3rd year driver a seat doesn’t it? He has never had a veteran teammate and has, in my humble opinion, out performed (if only by a small margin) his much more highly regarded teammate.

    1. Sauber was a top car at Suzuka, sorry to burst your bubble.

      1. So was the 2 Ferrari’s, 2 Mclarens, 2 Red Bulls, 2 Mclarens. Yet he still finished ahead of most of them. The whole point is that when the pace in his car is their he will be able to mix it with the big boys. You give him a good car on a regular basis (top team) and he fears no driver and will keep them at bay if he has to drive defensively.

  19. This is a big shame for formula one not just that Kobayashi isn’t racing next year but that money has become more important than driver talent.

  20. Come on! There are many drivers out there who “deserve” a drive. The fact here is that Kobayashi didn’t live to the expectations when he came to formula 1. And I don’t like to say this, because he is a very very nice guy and I like him a lot, but the thing is that he is a very good driver, but there are a lot of very good drivers out there and F1 is looking for excellent ones. He did have some shining moments, but lets be real, most drivers do. At the end he didn’t achieve what at least I thought he would, and probably what he himself thought he would.

    F1 is saying good bye to a very good and promising driver (at least for 2013), but com on, how often have we said that?

    1. So you think it’s right that Perez scores 6 points more than Koba gets a chance at Mclaren while Koba gets nothing? He was incredibly unlucky at a few races this year, and in terms of qualifying pace was much stronger than Perez when the car was performing well. Perez’ highest qualifying place was 5th I believe. While Koba started 2nd and 3rd and 4th.

      People who fail to see Koba’s talent are often not paying any attention to him, so he goes under the radar. Media attention on him is way, way lower than most of the other drivers on the grid.

  21. i think this news is a massive loss for 2013

  22. I’m glad he’s made an announcement like this rather than just fade out of the picture and remain silent like other struggling drivers who lose their seats. He clearly wants to move up the grid rather than down. Probably knows of the Force India situation before we do, unless he’s just been rejected.

    Seems like the attention in Japan is genuinely picking up, and I’d be a little surprised if he didn’t manage to pitch for a seat with some sponsors come 2014.

  23. F1 will be a bit safer and a bit optimistic without Kobacrashi, JB must be thinking.

    1. I looked at all Koba’s DNF’s and the only time he was responsible for an accident that took out other drivers was Korea 2012. All the others were either other’s making mistakes or some kind of car failure leading to accidents. It’s funny how people get labelled for things out of their control. Grosjean on the other hand has created more accidents in 1 1/2 seasons than Koba and yet he gets to continue.

    2. Is T silent?

  24. i think kamui its a good driver but if you see his 3 seasons with sauber always get the same result in drivers raking 2010 12, 2011 12, 2012 12, over these years sauber gets a better car but koba fail to deliver a better result.

    if somenoe wants to complain about the seat lost of kamui in 2013, please talk to sabuer becuase they choose nico over kamui, after 3 years they know kamui.

    1. He has improved every year, looking at his rank is misleading. In 2010 the car was unreliable for 1/3 of the season. In 2011 they stopped developing the blown diffuser to focus on 2012, however he would still have scored more points if they hadn’t Disqualified him from the Australian GP. This year he scored more points, had his highest points finishes and best qualifying.

      The only thing you can possibly say against him is he was inconsistent, but the Sauber was only really good on a select few tracks, and Perez struggled at many of the same tracks, so it’s not really fair to say Koba hasn’t improved or isn’t worthy of a drive in F1.

  25. Really sad to see this but not really that surprised. I’m sure with that kind of money in his back pocket he could have bought his way into a seat with one of the backmarker teams, but he wants to be in a decent car so clearly held out. Fair enough, that’s his choice, and if you look at Kovalainen it’s clear that even if you do an almost flawless job for three years in a backmarker car, nobody will give you a seat elsewhere. To go to Caterham would be a step backwards, and one which would be hard to recover from. Grosjean had a year out, and look at him now.

    I’m surprised that people are so critical of his speed though. he’s generally outpaced Perez in qualifying. Perez may have had a couple of higher finishes but his podiums in 2012 came off the back of other people retiring and unusual conditions, whereas Kobayashi’s Japanese podium was hard fought on merit. There’s no doubting that Perez is the faster driver over the race distance, but not by much. And the difference is not so great that Perez deserves to be fighting for a championship in 2013 while Kobayashi fights for a seat on the grid. He’s a good solid driver who can race a hell of a lot better than most other newer drivers, doesn’t tend to crash and has a good turn of speed on his day. Why wouldn’t any team want him in their second seat?

  26. People seem to go on about how today money is more importnat than talent, but isnt that allways been the case. No driver who took part in 2012 is there because of talent alone but due to sponsers/backers and who they know. Ive read comments saying that Guttirez got the sauber seat because they have a mexican sponser. Alonso got the renault seat back in 2003 because his manager ran the team or Hamilton got the Mclaren seat because hes was part of their young driver programme. Micheal Schumacher stared out as a pay driver mercedes paid jordan for his drive. We may not like the fact that you need money/contacts to reach F1 but that is how it is.

    1. @peteroli34 There are shades of grey when it comes to pay drivers but you’re blurring the distinction between having someone pay for you to drive and having someone who supports your career. It isn’t the same thing – the latter is about talent, the former can be nepotism, commercial interests, whatever.

      The statement “no driver who took part in 2012 is there because of talent alone” is patently false when applied to drivers of the calibre of Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton, Button and so on.

  27. I guess the best Koba can hope for is a Japanese team entering F1 pretty soon…which us unlikely. I know Nissan are involved with Red Bull through their Infiniti brand but how great would it be if they had their own team. They’re already getting involved in V8 supercars next year.

    Maybe Mazda F1 come in with the dream team of Kobayashi and Sato? :)

  28. IndyCar. Love to see him in IndyCar.

    Failing that, he has had ties with Toyota, has he not? Join their WEC team for next year?

    1. I can see his driving style working at short tracks.

  29. Wow. That makes F1 more than officially a racing series of not the best drivers, but the best paying ones.

  30. Long story short, he’s taking the £1.35 million he now find’s in his account, and buying himself a yacht.

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