Kobayashi tests Ferrari F1 car at Fiorano

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Kamui Kobayashi, Ferrari, Fiorano, 2013Kamui Kobayashi had a chance to drive a Ferrari Formula One car at the team’s Maranello test track day.

The Japanese driver got behind the wheel of a Ferrari F10 as raced by the team in 2010. F1 teams are allowed a limit number of runs using old machinery for filming purposes.

Kobayashi drives for Ferrari’s GT racing team in the World Endurance Championship.

“The first feeling was one of great happiness,” said Kobayashi. “I raced against this car and I knew how quick it was, so it was very important to get some experience of it.”

“Last year?s race in Brazil was the last time I drove a Formula One car and now I am racing in WEC in a 458 GT and the impressions are completely different.”

“But it wasn?t hard to readapt, because in the past, I?ve driven all sorts of cars and I?m used to change.”

Kobayashi drove the car to familiarise himself with it ahead of his planned run at the Moscow City Racing event on July 21st.

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60 comments on Kobayashi tests Ferrari F1 car at Fiorano

  1. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 27th May 2013, 19:58

    These images hurt my soul…

  2. petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 27th May 2013, 20:00

    I’d love to know what times he managed to put in…

  3. Rigi (@rigi) said on 27th May 2013, 20:01

    to replace massa 2014?

    • Slr (@slr) said on 27th May 2013, 20:14

      Not likely in my opinion, although I’d love for it to happen. At best he could be Ferrari’s reserve driver I’d say.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th May 2013, 9:36

        Yeah, Hulkenberg, Bianchi or Webber (who they admit to having canvassed last year) are the most likely candidates to replace Massa when he leaves the team.

        • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 28th May 2013, 11:02

          Allow me to refine that further…Hulkenberg is the most likely candidate to replace Massa when he leaves the team.

        • Ben (@scuderia29) said on 28th May 2013, 15:44

          @prisoner-monkeys i’d bet a million pounds webber willl never be in a ferrari, i dont think his hearts in f1 anymore, i see him retiring at the end of the year…certainly not taking on a whole new challenge at ferrari

        • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 28th May 2013, 15:57

          Webber is old and is only getting slower, Bianchi is not experienced enough for Ferrari, that leaves Hulk

        • Ginola14 (@ginola14) said on 28th May 2013, 19:27

          @maksutov @prisoner-monkeys

          I think Webber’s chance of donning Ferrari’s colors has probably gone. Interesting to see what Joe Saward’s current opinion on that prospect would be like given that he was still convinced as late as the end of late season that Webber would still sign for Ferrari in 2014 ( Check out his excellent blog by the way.

          His pace has been dropping off marginally but gradually every season since his peak year in 2010. You would fancy Webber to be ahead of Vettel at the recent Monaco weekend on a circuit which is one of Webber’s favorites and which he can comfortably say he holds the upper hand over Vettel. He didn’t disgrace himself with 3rd but was outdone by Vettel in both qualifying and the race anyway. I think the Hulk would be in a Ferrari by 2015 latest. There is no reason why he wants to cross over from a mid-tier team to erm, another mid-tier team for this season unless of course the new team he is with is a Ferrari feeder team all along.

          Would be interesting to have seen him raced a full season for Ferrari but that is one of another F1’s what-ifs.

          • johnnys1957 said on 30th May 2013, 4:39

            when you consider how many points Sauber has in 2013 compared to 2012 you wish Kobayashi was still in the Sauber!!!

      • Fixy (@fixy) said on 28th May 2013, 16:27

        @slr I’ve been rather surprised in fact not to see him named as Ferrari’s third driver. He surely could do better then Gené and Rigon in case either Alonso or Massa were unfit to race, and although I’d love Gené to finally get his chance like Badoer, seeing Koba in red would be great too!

    • bullfighter said on 27th May 2013, 21:32

      Yuppers!! Likely or not, I’d love that

    • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 28th May 2013, 11:00

      Dreeeeam, dream, dream, dream, dreeeeeam…

  4. mainstraight.com (@mainstraight-com) said on 27th May 2013, 20:22

    I would love to see him back in F1. Especially in a Ferrari.

  5. kilrcola (@adelaidef1fan) said on 27th May 2013, 20:30

    I know he had mixed results, but I really do think he would be a better option than Massa for 2014.

    in 2012 Massa earned 122 pts, in 2012 Kobayashi earned only 60 as a relatively newcomer to the sport, I can’t help but think his Formula 1 career ended prematurely.

    • Sir Troy said on 28th May 2013, 10:48

      Not to mention KK was driving a Sauber and Massa was driving a Ferrari

      • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 28th May 2013, 11:04

        …a Sauber that was probably better than the Ferrari in the first half of the season…

        • JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 28th May 2013, 16:26

          that’ll be why alonso was on the podium almost every race and won the same ammount of races during the first 7 races as anyone else did bar sauber toro rosso and the perpetual back markers.

  6. Aimal (@aimalkhan) said on 27th May 2013, 20:48

    I do miss Kobayashi… i think he don’t deserved to be sacked by sauber. i would love it if he came back next year.

    • gwenouille (@gwenouille) said on 27th May 2013, 21:21

      Yes, same for me. It is hard to swallow that Perez enjoys a McLaren while KK is out of F1 altogether…

      I was hoping that Honda coming back to F1 might ease the Japanese’ way back to the paddock, but i don’t know if he has a connection to Honda to start with…

  7. Victor. (@victor) said on 27th May 2013, 21:17

    Red suits him.

  8. Tomsk (@tomsk) said on 27th May 2013, 21:31

    Have Red Bull protested about this yet?

  9. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 27th May 2013, 21:51

    Massa replacement? why not? Kimi came after a sabbatical and is better than his 2009.

  10. Nocturnis (@nocturnis) said on 27th May 2013, 23:24

    He should be in Perez or Grojean seat right now.

  11. Antonio Nartea (@tony031r) said on 27th May 2013, 23:27

    I’m glad for Kobayashi. He genuinely looks happy to have a F1 Ferrari on his hands, but really?! Does anyone here think that Kamui taking a 3 years old Ferrari for a stroll in the park has any other meaning than a pure commercial one?

    I’m sorry to burst anyone’s bubble but even though I completely share the opinion that Kamui’s F1 career ended too abruptly, I also am 100% sure all the access doors to F1 are now closed for him. If Ferrari choose to ditch Massa next year (something that I personally don’t think they will do), Kamui is still in with the third chance at best, after Hulkenberg and Bianchi.

    Whoever watches endurance / GT racing for long enough knows AF Corse is one of Ferrari’s / Italy’s F1 rejects retirement home. Alesi, Salo and Fisichella have all ended up there after being at one point or another connected with the Scuderia / driving for the Scuderia. None of them ever went back up the ladder. Once you land an AF Corse seat, it’s a done deal.

    Koba’s fans should start talking about his super-solid pair of podiums in the WEC so far, or his serious chances of winning Le Mans this year alongside Vilander and Beretta, and leave all the unfounded F1 speculations aside, because imho, just as Fisichella and Bruni, Kamui looks like he’s going to spend a while playing around in the 458.

    • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 28th May 2013, 0:02

      @tony031r I think you’re mixing apples and oranges here. Alesi, Fisi etc were at the end of their careers and didn’t wan’t anything else. Also unlike those drivers he wasn’t “connected with Ferrari in the past”. Finally, Kobayashi has explicitly stated that his focus from 2014 and beyond is on F1 and F1 only. He only took up this drive in WEC because he didn’t want to waste a year not driving at all.

      So given all this, there’s a fair chance we’ll see him in F1 again. Unlikely it’ll be in a Ferrari though, unfortunately. Anyway seeing him driving a GT car in WEC is as painful as it gets. Total waste of talent

      • Antonio Nartea (@tony031r) said on 28th May 2013, 0:42

        @montreal95

        Alesi, Fisi etc. were at the end of their careers and didn’t wan’t anything else.

        Fisichella wanted to keep racing in 2010. He was talking to Sauber and Force India, before he lost out to De La Rosa and Liuzzi respectively. Left without a seat, he took a test driver role with Ferrari and signed with AF Corse. Almost an indigo copy of the Kobayashi situation but at different points in their career.

        Also unlike those drivers he wasn’t “connected with Ferrari in the past”

        Wasn’t he a Ferrari Academy driver? Sure, it’s a different level of connection compared to Fisi or Salo, but the links were / are still there…

        Kobayashi has explicitly stated that his focus from 2014 and beyond is on F1 and F1 only

        That statement sounded like that simply because he wanted to make everyone aware of the fact that he’s still on the drivers market, at that particular time. That doesn’t mean someone’s interested in him or that’s he’ll manage to persuade someone to hire him.
        If he manages to drive well enough in the WEC this year and if Ferrari set him up for a test driver role, as a replacement for Gene par example, with a hefty salary, I think Koba will shift his focus. Driving competitively for AF Corse in a very tough championship and having fun in a Ferrari F1 showcase car on occasions could prove to be a better option than struggling in one of the lower midfield / backmarker F1 cars (because, let’s face it, there’s no chance he will end up in a Ferrari, McLaren, Merc, Red Bull, Lotus or even Sauber or a Torro Rosso, while Force India could have hired him this season if they wanted to and didn’t).

        Ferrari will want to keep Kamui in a GT seat, if he proves to be this good at it and will probably set him up as one of their long-lasting F1 test/reserve drivers in a couple of years. That’s my guess.

        • akb said on 28th May 2013, 5:49

          > there’s no chance

          Never say never :)
          Ask Sutil

        • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 28th May 2013, 9:44

          @tony031r Yes you’re right about Fisichella,but he was 36 yr old and after offered long-term contract by Ferrari he wasn’t hungry enough to try and go back to F1 in 2011. I stand by the rest of them though. Alesi, who’s my all time favorite driver started driving for AF Corse at the age of 44. Mika Salo at the age of 42. Bruni was never F1 material

          Kobayashi wasn’t in the Ferrari Academy. He was supported solely by Toyota all the way from karting to F1

          I’d never said that it’s done deal that KK will be back in F1. you might be totally correct that no one will offer him contract.But those matters are outside his concern. That’s doesn’t mean we should question his sincerity when he said he’s focused on F1 and nothing else. Everything else is pure speculation, and your guess is as good as mine as what will happen in the end. I don’t have a crystal ball, and i hope that neither do you, otherwise it would be properly scary, and what’s worse, take all edge from our future discussions ;)

    • akb said on 28th May 2013, 5:45

      I feel like Stefano is trying to promote him. GT seat, visiting Monaco, and now this

  12. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 27th May 2013, 23:49

    Koba’s fans should start talking about his super-solid pair of podiums in the WEC so far, or his serious chances of winning Le Mans this year alongside Vilander and Beretta

    If he keeps this up however, we’ve got to remember that unlike Fisi and Bruni – he’s still young, and compared to them two, plenty of people want to see him back in the sport…

  13. I Love the Pope said on 28th May 2013, 2:29

    I’m not sure why, but he was one of my favorite drivers when he was in F1. I was new to the sport and just kind of started to root for the guy, especially because he was fearless. I thought he showed great maturity in his later drives with Sauber and I think it is a shame he is gone.

    He looks great in Ferrari red!

  14. Daniel king said on 28th May 2013, 3:52

    cuz he’s awesome

  15. TMF (@tmf42) said on 28th May 2013, 7:05

    Kamui one of the more prominent victims of the Toyota / BMW scorched earth. He finished always ahead of his teammates in the WDC with the exception of 2012 and even there he was just 6 points off Perez despite his 2 2nd places – he is probably not the fastest guy but drove very consistently.
    Great loss for F1, but there could be a real chance for a seat at Lotus next year if Webber decides to retire and Kimi moves to RBR.

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