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

  1. Canadatim said on 17th December 2012, 22:18

    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?

    • 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.

  2. NordicF1Team (@nordicf1team) said on 17th December 2012, 22:28

    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.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 18th December 2012, 9:50

      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.

  3. Shane (@shane-pinnell) said on 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.

    • Armchair Expert (@armchairexpert) said on 18th December 2012, 12:04

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

      • 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.

  4. charles (@charles) said on 17th December 2012, 23:11

    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.

  5. Beto (@chebeto0) said on 17th December 2012, 23:23

    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?

    • 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.

  6. Ben (@scuderia29) said on 18th December 2012, 0:11

    i think this news is a massive loss for 2013

  7. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 18th December 2012, 0:30

    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.

  8. Morton said on 18th December 2012, 1:20

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

    • 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.

    • Brace (@brace) said on 18th December 2012, 13:59

      Is T silent?

  9. Jimred said on 18th December 2012, 4:08

    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.

    • 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.

  10. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 18th December 2012, 9:59

    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?

  11. peteroliver (@peteroli34) said on 18th December 2012, 11:30

    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.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 18th December 2012, 11:34

      @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.

  12. 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? :)

  13. 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?

  14. xivizmath (@xivizmath) said on 18th December 2012, 16:43

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

  15. Andy2286 (@andy2286) said on 18th December 2012, 23:23

    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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