Kobayashi may refund ??1.2m in donations from fans

2013 F1 season

Kamui Kobayashi, Ferrari, Fiorano, 2013Kamui Kobayashi has pledged to refund the donations made to his support programme if he fails to secure a place in Formula One.

Kobayashi lost his seat at Sauber last year due in part to a lack of support from sponsors. He set up a Kamui Support programme for fans to donate money to his racing career.

The campaign has raised ??184m (??1.2m) so far. But Kobayashi, who is racing for Ferrari in the World Endurance Championship this year, says he will only use the money to further his F1 career.

“Personally speaking, I want to come back in Formula One next year,” he told his official website.

“And today, there is one thing I want to be clear about Kamui Support. The all donations of Kamui Support has not been used at all this year, because this was purely for F1 seat.”

“And if I don?t need to use them for next year?s F1 seat, I want to return all to whom made donation.”

“At Monaco Grand Prix, I spend whole weekend with the Scuderia Ferrari team,” he added. “And following Monday, I had a chance to check F1 cars at Fiorano for Moscow event scheduled in July. I will also have a chance to test simulator near future.”

“I will put all of my effort for the jobs Scuderia Ferrari offered to me and hoping to give you good news as soon as possible. So, I wish you all the best and keep supporting me.”

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46 comments on Kobayashi may refund ??1.2m in donations from fans

  1. Enigma (@enigma) said on 31st May 2013, 17:49

    Too bad he’s not giving it to charity.

  2. sushant008 (@sushant008) said on 31st May 2013, 17:51

    just go to Indycar Kamui..don’t leave open-wheel racing!

  3. BasCB (@bascb) said on 31st May 2013, 17:52

    Hm, not sure where Kamui would fit in really, although its good that he got picked up a bit by Ferrari. At least this way they have a guy they could put in the car immediately in case of an accident (for example in case Massa would not feel good enough for Canada after the Monaco weekend).

    But If Marussia confirms their Ferrari engines, I would hope they try to hold onto Bianchi for next year as well (or can he move up?), but as its Chilton paying the bills, he is pretty likely to stay as well, provided the finances do not run out. With Massa on a far stronger pace this year, will Ferrari keep him on another year? If yes, will Hulkenberg then stay with Sauber – I guess he would, so there would be no opening at Sauber either.

    • Michael Brown (@) said on 31st May 2013, 20:09

      It is speculated he will take a Lotus seat if Grosjean is dropped or if Raikkonen moves to Red Bull replacing Webber.

    • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 1st June 2013, 7:06

      He getting picked up by Ferrari gives lot of scope for his future in F1. And @bascb from the below quote I get a feeling that he is sounding certain of an F1 seat next year.

      “And if I don’t need to use them for next year’s F1 seat, I want to return all to whom made donation.”

  4. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 31st May 2013, 17:54

    God, I do hope he gets a seat. Will make my £50 standing order to Kamui Support worth it…

  5. Liam McShane (@motor_mad) said on 31st May 2013, 17:59

    I think he should give it to charity instead. I think we all know he is very unlikely to get a seat in F1 next year.

  6. Nathan Bellows (@nathanbellows) said on 31st May 2013, 18:16

    I really want to see Kobayashi back in F1. An Alonso – Kobayashi lineup at Ferarri would be awesome!

  7. Traverse (@) said on 31st May 2013, 18:31

    Good!! I need the £1.1M that I donated back! I’m flat broke…maybe I shouldn’t have blown all my money on strippers (paint stripper, I love painting) and hoes (I’m also a gardener). :)

  8. Oli Littlejohn (@olilittlejohn) said on 31st May 2013, 18:44

    definitely cannot give it to Charity, would clearly be ill-gotten for the charity as people would feel misled.

  9. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 31st May 2013, 18:58

    The only question: where? Maybe back to Sauber given the HULK ‘might’ go to the prancing horse. I feel like Massa has now become the center of the drivers market in the same way Schumachers retirement in 2012 shook up the grid.

    • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 31st May 2013, 19:18

      And discounted engines too? This crossed my mind as well…

    • @force-maikel the little issue about Massa is that every year he becomes the center of the seat-moves speculation, just to see him signing over and over again.

      • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 31st May 2013, 21:00

        I think the only way we’d see Massa out of a Ferrari seat next year is if he chooses to retire, which at his age, isn’t likely. What’s more, is that I can’t find a reason as to why Ferrari would drop him now. Continuity in 2014 will be an advantage too…

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st June 2013, 9:28

          Indeed @electrolite, the way Massa is driving so far this year, he is exactly what Ferrari needs. A really fast driver, qualifying where the car allows him to and getting a solid deal of points and a podium at times.
          His form last year at this time was abysmall, but now, I don’t really see any urgency for Ferrari to replace him.

  10. Roald (@roald) said on 31st May 2013, 19:00

    Ferrari’s testdriver lineup is a graveyard, ask any of their other 12 testdrivers. He won’t be back in F1 and should focus on Indycar instead.

    • DaveF1 (@davef1) said on 31st May 2013, 19:28

      Not so sure about that. Massa too spent a year out testing for Ferrari before driving for Sauber and they eventually joining Ferrari.

      Yes Ferrari is run different now than it was back then but Kobayashi’s Sauber results were a lot more impressive than Massa’s. It is unlikely but I wouldn’t completely discount Kamui driving for the Ferrari in the future.

  11. Starbuck (@starbuck) said on 31st May 2013, 20:02

    Imagine Kamui in a Ferrari and Perez in a McLaren fighting for a Grand Prix victory.

    This would either end in total desaster or in the most classic GP since Dijon 1979.

    • Traverse (@) said on 31st May 2013, 20:55

      As much as I admire kamui and like Perez, a race deciding dual between these two would only end in disaster. Neither possess the subtle touch nor a finesse centred driving style to sustain an inch perfect, wheel-to-wheel, on the edge battle of legendary proportions.
      Still, watching them wipe each other out as The Vet cruises through for the win would be very entertaining!!

      • Traverse (@) said on 1st June 2013, 3:53


      • Jono (@me262) said on 1st June 2013, 4:09

        koba was actually quite spectacular and clean with his ovetakes in F1, take a look at the many career overtake highlight reels. One thing that was imo the differentiator between Perez going to McLaren and Koba being dropped from F1 is that Perez had a reputation of possessing great tyre management skills which is more of whats needed of where the sport is heading currently, whereas Koba was more of a go hard or go home type that races at the limit, hence his superior qualifying abilities

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st June 2013, 8:52

      Why does everyone seem to think that Koabayshi is going to get promoted straight into a Ferrari seat?

      • Slr (@slr) said on 1st June 2013, 10:23

        No one here has really predicted Kobayashi for a Ferrari seat, they’d just like to see it happen.

  12. Patrick (@paeschli) said on 31st May 2013, 20:02

    He can take his place back from Gutierrez at Sauber, HULK have always been better than him …

  13. Olav Kersen (@okersen) said on 31st May 2013, 21:30

    But if Grosjean was dropped from Lotus this season, who would replace him? Who would be as experienced as Kobayashi, with the same level or recent results as Kobayashi had his last year in F1 and as ready and willing to race as Kobayashi is.

  14. Mike the bike Schumacher (@mike-the-bike-schumacher) said on 31st May 2013, 23:35

    I remember getting a COTD about this when he set it up, I’m still against the idea in general, but glad he has clarified that he is willing to give the money back if he doesn’t make it.

  15. Aimal (@aimalkhan) said on 31st May 2013, 23:49

    Raising £1.2 million shows that he clearly has a lot of fans who want to see him drive in F1. if i was a huge corporation with a few millions to spare, i would sponsor him to get a seat.

  16. Irejag (@irejag) said on 1st June 2013, 0:20

    If F1 was a little bit cheaper to run then I believe that we would see a lot of talented drivers out there right now, like Kamui.

  17. Jono (@me262) said on 1st June 2013, 3:29

    not even a podium at suzuka was able to save his F1 career,,, Gutierez replacing him highlight$ the $ad $tate of affair$ in F1

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