Kobayashi says he won’t be in F1 in 2013

2013 F1 season

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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75 comments on Kobayashi says he won’t be in F1 in 2013

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  1. Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 17th December 2012, 20:41

    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.

  2. Aimal (@aimalkhan) said on 17th December 2012, 20:43

    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. Bosley (@bosley) said on 17th December 2012, 20:49

    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.

  4. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 17th December 2012, 20:52

    One word: Gutted.

  5. gwenouille (@gwenouille) said on 17th December 2012, 20:53

    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. andae23 (@andae23) said on 17th December 2012, 20:55

    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.

    • @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:)

      • Sorry 2010 podium pole

      • andae23 (@andae23) said on 17th December 2012, 22:42

        @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.

        • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 17th December 2012, 23:56

          @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.

          • andae23 (@andae23) said on 18th December 2012, 10:29

            @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.

          • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 18th December 2012, 10:43

            @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

          • andae23 (@andae23) said on 18th December 2012, 10:54

            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.

      • Armchair Expert (@armchairexpert) said on 18th December 2012, 11:56

        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.

    • 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.

  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 ;)

  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…

  9. sato113 (@sato113) said on 17th December 2012, 21:21

    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 :)

    • Joey Zyla (@) said on 17th December 2012, 22:33

      okey i cnt speel ether lol :)

    • david d.m. said on 17th December 2012, 22:41

      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.

      • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 18th December 2012, 0:03

        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)

  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. Mike the bike Schumacher (@mike-the-bike-schumacher) said on 17th December 2012, 21:41

    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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 18th December 2012, 6:51

        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. Jon (@patomilan) said on 17th December 2012, 22:07

    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.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th December 2012, 23:14

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

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

      • Mike (@mike) said on 18th December 2012, 1:25

        @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.

        • 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.

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