Site logo

I'm free, admits Kobayashi

NEWS STORY
21/01/2014

Kamui Kobayashi has admitted that he will not be paid for his services at Caterham in 2014. Indeed, it is his fans who have helped finance his return to the F1 grid.

At the end of 2012, the popular driver was dropped by Sauber due to lack of budget, even though, just months earlier he had scored an emotional podium for the Swiss team at his home race.

At a time money outweighs talent, certainly at the 'wrong' end of the grid, the ever popular driver was forced to sit out the 2013 F1 season and turn to GT Racing. At the same time, with an eye on returning to F1, he established Kamui Support through which his fans were able to donate money with the aim of facilitating his dream.

Thought to have raised just over $1m, it was enough to get Kamui the Caterham drive, and he's delighted.

"I am free," he told Reuters. "I don't need money. I just want to drive. I don't care about money. I want to be a success in my life and bring the team that success. This is my goal.

"We paid with my fans' donations and I have to really thank my Japanese fans," he added. "I think I could not get this seat without my fans."

"Whether I get a million, half a million or save two million, in the scheme of things makes no difference when you are talking about 80 million pound budgets," said Caterham owner Tony Fernandes of the deal, which begs the question why exactly did he need Kamui's paltry $1m.

"What we thought Kamui brought is maybe that little bit of spark," he continued. "Something you can't really quantify, that maybe just motivates the rest of the 250 people to say 'we've got a chance now, we've got a warrior who is going to go in there and do whatever to move this team on'. That's the main reason we've taken him. We've seen on the track, it's well-documented that he goes for it. My message in signing him is to tell the people... that we've got to go for it. This is it."

Despite the fact that Japanese fans are amongst the most passionate the sport has, demands for tickets for the Grand Prix usually oversubscribed by a factor of more than five, in 2013 there was no home involvement in F1, no Japanese drivers, teams, tyre or engine manufacturers. Fernandes will no doubt be aware that the recruitment of Kobayashi could reap dividends.

In the meantime, as many still ponder the recruitment of rookie Marcus Ericsson, wondering why he didn't go for broke by partnering Kamui with Kamui Kobayashi, Fernandes insists that signing the Japanese wasn't about the money.

"There's something in his eyes. He was hungry," he said "And I want everyone in this team to be hungry. It might be a disaster in some races but I'd rather die trying than not try."

Chris Balfe

LATEST NEWS

more news >

RELATED ARTICLES

LATEST IMAGES

galleries >

  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images

POST A COMMENT

or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment

READERS COMMENTS

 

No comments posted as yet, would you like to be the first to have your say?

Share this page

X

Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2014. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  terms  |  privacy & security  |  rss