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Kobayashi to [formerly Pirelli] AF Corse in World Endurance Championship


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#1 TheUltimateWorrier

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 13:09

Pirelli announce tomorrow Kobayashi as a test driver

January 22, 2013 - Tomorrow in Milan will be a special day for the Italian company that might renew its participation in Formula One, with the submission of Kamui Kobayashi as a tester for the development of new tires.

The Pirelli returned to Formula One in 2011 with a three-year agreement for the supply of tires that will expire at the end of this year. On both sides there is the will to go on, but for the moment the details of the new agreement were not disclosed.

The wait for the drivers that will be used to study the Pirelli tires: Jaime Alguersuari looks toward the DTM for the post in the BMW, even if the odds of Spanish declined with the unexpected availability of German Timo Glock.
Lucas di Grassi has made it known to be in contact with some Formula One teams to fill the role of test driver, if anything its place with the Italian company does not renew itself.

Those who could get the job, with the hope of returning holder in F1 in 2014, is Kamui Kobayashi. The official role of the tester for Pirelli could be announced on Wednesday 23 January.
Pirelli to develop tires that are used in Formula One has made ​​use of the Toyota of 2009, before moving last year to a Renault R30 2010. (Google translated)

Hopefully this is true and helps him get back on the grid in 2014 :up: .

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#2 Buttoneer

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 13:14

There have been vacancies for 2013, and if he was rated highly enough he would surely have been snapped up by now, so what will change in 2014 that might make him more desirable then than now?

Not sure how realistic his 2014 hopes are.

It's good to see that he's not been sidelined completely, and it does keep him relevant to the sport, but I would much rather see him cut his losses and compete somewhere.

#3 slmk

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 13:17

There have been vacancies for 2013, and if he was rated highly enough he would surely have been snapped up by now, so what will change in 2014 that might make him more desirable then than now?

Not sure how realistic his 2014 hopes are.

It's good to see that he's not been sidelined completely, and it does keep him relevant to the sport, but I would much rather see him cut his losses and compete somewhere.


Agreed. Or... maybe he tried to punch above his weight and went for the bigger names? Thought he'd get lucky like his ex-teammate Perez...

#4 Mauseri

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 13:27

There have been vacancies for 2013, and if he was rated highly enough he would surely have been snapped up by now, so what will change in 2014 that might make him more desirable then than now?

Maybe there is not much hope returning in 2014, but at least the job puts him above the other ousted drivers on mid season and 2014 replacement lists.

#5 TheUltimateWorrier

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 14:04

There have been vacancies for 2013, and if he was rated highly enough he would surely have been snapped up by now, so what will change in 2014 that might make him more desirable then than now?

Not sure how realistic his 2014 hopes are.

You're right, barring any mid-season shenanigans at other teams this season or another crazy silly season in 2014, it seems unlikely he'll return. If the $8 million he raised from sponsors is true, it surprises me he never attempted to contact Caterham to stick around. But like slmk says, perhaps he thinks he's on a similar level to Perez and shouldn't settle for less.

It's good to see that he's not been sidelined completely, and it does keep him relevant to the sport, but I would much rather see him cut his losses and compete somewhere.

Part of me agrees about cutting his losses, as he'd be a great addition to Indycar imo, but there's still a slim chance he can get another drive.

#6 SonnyViceR

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 14:10

What a waste. Could've gone to sportscars while the iron is hot, this leads nowhere

#7 noikeee

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 14:20

There have been vacancies for 2013, and if he was rated highly enough he would surely have been snapped up by now, so what will change in 2014 that might make him more desirable then than now?

Not sure how realistic his 2014 hopes are.

It's good to see that he's not been sidelined completely, and it does keep him relevant to the sport, but I would much rather see him cut his losses and compete somewhere.


Any midseason panic openings, he'll be #1 choice. Worked fine for De La Rosa a couple of years back.

He can still go to sportcars, Indycar, DTM, FNippon, Japanese GT, whatever, next year if he's still not in demand.

#8 F1ultimate

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 14:25

What a waste. Could've gone to sportscars while the iron is hot, this leads nowhere


I rather see him as a Pirelli test driver than being a test driver for a team. I can assure you that he will be clocking more mileage in a car than Buemi. Like already iterated, his Pirelli know-how will make him handsome for a driver's roll should an opportunity arise mid-season.

#9 SonnyViceR

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 14:26

Stupid question, asking just because I don't know about these things: how much actual testing and commitment is involved with this Pirelli deal? Would be great if Kamui was able to put a parallel racing program in some other series at the same time, there's nothing worse for a professional racing driver than doing nothing but testing, PR speeches and standing in the sidelines for whole year

Edited by SonnyViceR, 22 January 2013 - 14:26.


#10 Victor_RO

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 14:33

Stupid question, asking just because I don't know about these things: how much actual testing and commitment is involved with this Pirelli deal? Would be great if Kamui was able to put a parallel racing program in some other series at the same time, there's nothing worse for a professional racing driver than doing nothing but testing, PR speeches and standing in the sidelines for whole year


A number of testing sessions spread out over the year, but enough weekends off to put together at least a few one-off race entries in other series if necessary. di Grassi was the Pirelli test driver last year, got one single outing with Audi at Interlagos and now seems to have a full-season deal with Audi this year.

#11 SonnyViceR

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 14:36

A number of testing sessions spread out over the year, but enough weekends off to put together at least a few one-off race entries in other series if necessary. di Grassi was the Pirelli test driver last year, got one single outing with Audi at Interlagos and now seems to have a full-season deal with Audi this year.


I see.

If Toyota had entered third car for LM I could've seen Kamui there as one-off appearance, but now there's not enough room...

#12 Anja

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 14:44

What a waste. Could've gone to sportscars while the iron is hot, this leads nowhere

He said that he's interested only in F1.

#13 midgrid

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 14:51

Well, it's a shame he won't be racing full-time, but hopefully he can use it as a springboard back into F1. Although only Heidfeld has managed it so far, and because of force majeure. If not, then a Di Grassi-style transition to the Toyota LMP team would be preferable to Alguersuari's sitting on the sidelines.

#14 midgrid

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 14:54

He said that he's interested only in F1.


I'm sure that he would at least consider a top drive in another series. He said that when he was desperately seeking to remain in an F1 race seat, and it could have been an attempt to show potential employers how keen he is to remain in the sport, and not "settle" for a "lesser" category.

#15 SonnyViceR

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 15:10

He said that he's interested only in F1.


In that case he's digging up his own grave... back to sushi restaurant.

#16 F1ultimate

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 15:41

In that case he's digging up his own grave... back to sushi restaurant.


Because drivers like Grosjean, Hulkenberg and Pedro dLR didn't get a second chance?

#17 SonnyViceR

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 15:46

Because drivers like Grosjean, Hulkenberg and Pedro dLR didn't get a second chance?


He might get a second chance, or not. The point is that he's seriously limiting his options.

Besides, Grosjean went to do FIA GT1 + Le Mans + AutoGP and millions of other spec single seater series right after he was out the first time.

#18 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 15:58

What a waste. Could've gone to sportscars while the iron is hot, this leads nowhere


What iron? There's not a lot of top line vacancies and being a tire tester in F1 is a decent job. And he'll always have the sportscar opportunities later. Ex-F1 guys have a lot of choice, even if they rarely look into them.

#19 F1ultimate

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 16:04

He might get a second chance, or not. The point is that he's seriously limiting his options.

Besides, Grosjean went to do FIA GT1 + Le Mans + AutoGP and millions of other spec single seater series right after he was out the first time.


The difference between Le Mans and being a Pirelli test driver is that he gets run time in a single F1 car and is well oiled for existing and up and coming tire specifications. Thus if an opportunity comes along he will be instantly operational. He can make a career as the new suber sub like Nick Heidfeld was.

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#20 SonnyViceR

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 16:15

Ignorant F1 question number two: Is Pirelli then providing spec tyre for 2014 too?

#21 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 16:16

I don't think anyone is signed for for 2014 yet, tire-wise.

#22 SonnyViceR

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 16:23

So technically what he does for Pirelli doesn't really help him unless someone hires him mid-season for whatever reason, or if F1 continues with the same standardized spec format in '14

#23 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 16:27

Racing an F1 car would be best, but even if there's a new tire company in 2014 being the Pirelli tester in 2013 is going to be better than doing GP2, Indycar, sportscars, etc.

#24 pinkypants

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 16:58

Good for Koba :) Think it's better than going to another sports car series

#25 jrg19

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 17:16

Has Hembery denied this on twitter?

#26 fullthrottle

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 17:19

Paul Hembery said it won't happen unless ....

Paul Hembery ‏@PaulHembery
“@F1Passionit: F1 | Domani Pirelli annuncerà Kobayashi come test-driver http://fb.me/JqHMYzvD ” no they won't !


Paul Hembery ‏@PaulHembery
Just in case you wondered , there is no reason why we will not have Lucas and Jaime testing for us in 13. #f1 unless they get a FT race seat



#27 Risil

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 17:21

I see.

If Toyota had entered third car for LM I could've seen Kamui there as one-off appearance, but now there's not enough room...


Perhaps they'll squeeze him in for Fuji in October. By that time there might be enough capacity to run a one-off extra car.

#28 Risil

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 17:22

Paul Hembery ‏@PaulHembery
Just in case you wondered , there is no reason why we will not have Lucas and Jaime testing for us in 13. #f1 unless they get a FT race seat


Alguersuari to Force India! Paul Hembery said so!

#29 Fastcake

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 17:25

So technically what he does for Pirelli doesn't really help him unless someone hires him mid-season for whatever reason, or if F1 continues with the same standardized spec format in '14


I know they left it seriously late last time to sort out the new tyre supplier, but I think if they were going to change from Pirelli we would of heard about it. I suspect they'll just quietly extend the contract.

In any case, for Kobayashi being involved in F1 and testing cars gives him a better opportunity to get a race seat than leaving completely for another series. Being able to talk to the teams and possibly knowing where a vacancy may be coming up is an advantage.

#30 Victor_RO

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 17:29

Paul Hembery ‏@PaulHembery
Just in case you wondered , there is no reason why we will not have Lucas and Jaime testing for us in 13. #f1 unless they get a FT race seat


Except that Lucas has a race seat for 2013, and it seems to be a full-season deal.

#31 SonnyViceR

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 17:33

Perhaps they'll squeeze him in for Fuji in October. By that time there might be enough capacity to run a one-off extra car.


People were saying that all year last season too and it didn't happen... also it's one of the last outings for that chassis before it becomes obsolete (unless grandathered) before 2014 rules so they might just let it be. Also depends on LM success

#32 Jimisgod

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:45

Agreed. Or... maybe he tried to punch above his weight and went for the bigger names? Thought he'd get lucky like his ex-teammate Perez...


I think Koba's worth is yet to be judged until the end of 2013. He was roughly equal with Perez. If Perez sets the world aflame, Koba may be in with a shot.

#33 flatlander48

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 14:50

I think Koba's worth is yet to be judged until the end of 2013. He was roughly equal with Perez. If Perez sets the world aflame, Koba may be in with a shot.


Ultimately Kamui may not be quite as fast as Sergio, but I think he is much more combative. If you're rolling along with a pretty decent car, Kamui is among the few that you wouldn't want to see in your mirrors.

#34 boldhakka

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 14:58

I think Koba's worth is yet to be judged until the end of 2013. He was roughly equal with Perez. If Perez sets the world aflame, Koba may be in with a shot.


That is absolutely not how it works.

#35 BoozeBaron

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 15:04

Bit OT maybe... but is this a 'dig'... and if so, is it backwards? or am I still asleep (or just thick) ????

Taki Inoue ‏@takiinoue

I couldn't get a deal with Pirelli as a tyre tester for 2013 due to technical problems. They need a talented driver instead of budget.


https://twitter.com/...082510692970497

#36 TheUltimateWorrier

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 15:06

Well Hembery confirmed Alguersuari and Di Grassi again for this year at the Pirelli presentation this afternoon, dismissing the rumours of Kobayashi :well: . He even tried a bit of stand-up saying Pirelli were looking at another Japanese driver, Taki Inoue :p, to complete silence. David Brent-alike indeed is Mr. Hembery.

#37 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 15:06

I think he's making fun of his ride-buyer history?

#38 TheUltimateWorrier

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 15:18

I think he's making fun of his ride-buyer history?

Yeah, just a bit of self-deprecating humour. His twitter feed is full of it, like this one about Marussia;

Taki Inoue ‏@takiinoue
Just been to the ATM and confirmed the fund is good enough to sign with Marussia F1. Afraid to say no talent and no carbon helmet.



#39 BoozeBaron

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 15:25

Cheers for that... Couldn't figure that one out... Will follow the guy now if his humour runs that deep :))


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#40 string158

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 15:26

I always thought it was a spoof account? :lol:

#41 bourbon

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 15:35

Ultimately Kamui may not be quite as fast as Sergio, but I think he is much more combative. If you're rolling along with a pretty decent car, Kamui is among the few that you wouldn't want to see in your mirrors.


"Combative" is not an attribute of high worth in these economically rough times. That is just a reality for the midgrid where it is less self controled as compared to the top teams.

#42 flatlander48

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 20:45

"Combative" is not an attribute of high worth in these economically rough times. That is just a reality for the midgrid where it is less self controled as compared to the top teams.


No, what I meant by combative is actually looking for a way past another car rather than following and waiting for a mistake. When you get up near the sharp end of the grid, there are fewer and fewer mistakes which makes that strategy not so good.

#43 Jimisgod

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:08

That is absolutely not how it works.


Then how does it work?

I heard all this utter bullshit about the Sauber being able to 'win three races or more' from idiots who had never put a hand on the car. The only way to judge a driver's worth is against their teammates. Hulkenberg lost to Rubens and was almost out of the sport, he beats di Resta by a good margin and is WDC potential.

If you run about equal to a teammate and they go on to McLaren and run very well there, of course that will open doors
.
Then again, you can crash into everything in the universe and score less than half your teammate's points and still be resigned by Lotus, so maybe it works different.

#44 TF110

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:53

If Kobayashi weren't Japanese I think that would have opened more doors for him. It may not be proven but I feel it's another reason he wasn't taken by a team but $ergio Perez was. Poor Kobayashi. For his sake I hope Grosjean doesn't stay with Lotus past this season.

Edited by TF110, 24 January 2013 - 06:55.


#45 SunnyENTP

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:35

Racing an F1 car would be best, but even if there's a new tire company in 2014 being the Pirelli tester in 2013 is going to be better than doing GP2, Indycar, sportscars, etc.



How is that better? You do know being a racing is about competing? Of course he might be the sort of person who is not competitive and is just happy to take the pay cheque.

#46 aditya-now

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:39

Well Hembery confirmed Alguersuari and Di Grassi again for this year at the Pirelli presentation this afternoon, dismissing the rumours of Kobayashi :well: . He even tried a bit of stand-up saying Pirelli were looking at another Japanese driver, Taki Inoue :p, to complete silence. David Brent-alike indeed is Mr. Hembery.


Who made up the Kobayashi rumour then and why? Some desperate Koba fans?

#47 ImaCobra

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:16

If Kobayashi weren't Japanese I think that would have opened more doors for him. It may not be proven but I feel it's another reason he wasn't taken by a team but $ergio Perez was. Poor Kobayashi. For his sake I hope Grosjean doesn't stay with Lotus past this season.

The only reason Kobayashi ever got in F1 in the first place was because he was Japanese. No non-Japanese team would ever replace their injured F1 driver with a guy whose best overall championship standing after two seasons in GP2 was 16th.

So at the end it kinda evens out. He got a chance that should have never been possible and he made the most out of it. For me he remains rather mediocre driver still. Being spectacular every now and then might win fans over, but that is not what the teams are after. Speed is. Don't get me wrong, I don't think Perez is special either and I think McLaren may have made a mistake.

Edited by ImaCobra, 24 January 2013 - 10:19.


#48 Victor_RO

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:58

I always thought it was a spoof account? :lol:


http://plus.autospor...m/feature/5076/ mentions quite clearly that the account is real.

#49 TheUltimateWorrier

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:06

Who made up the Kobayashi rumour then and why? Some desperate Koba fans?

Italian and French media. I think desperate Kobayashi fans would make up better rumours  ;) .

#50 F1ultimate

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:30

If Kobayashi weren't Japanese I think that would have opened more doors for him. It may not be proven but I feel it's another reason he wasn't taken by a team but $ergio Perez was. Poor Kobayashi. For his sake I hope Grosjean doesn't stay with Lotus past this season.


The problem isn't him being Japanese but entire Japanese industry being in disarray because of Korea's advancement. Panasonic, Sony, Hitachi and other giants that could have sponsored him are counting pennies and even selling their HQ to raise cash. After all, no sponsor want to sign a team they can't leverage and firms in Europe cannot do that with Kobayashi which makes him commercially unappealing.