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


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#101 KinoNoNo

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 12:07

So when is Kamui's debut in sportscars, so I can keep an eye out for it?

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#102 KTF1

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 12:16

So when is Kamui's debut in sportscars, so I can keep an eye out for it?

6 Hours of Silverstone on the 14th of April :)

#103 One

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 12:34

New challenge. Exciting.

Looking a side, I do not think that Sauber chose the right driver. They have already fallen backwards on WCC and is already a rumor that they might have to sell themselves.

#104 KinoNoNo

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 14:48

6 Hours of Silverstone on the 14th of April :)


Cheers :up:

New challenge. Exciting.

Looking a side, I do not think that Sauber chose the right driver. They have already fallen backwards on WCC and is already a rumor that they might have to sell themselves.


I wonder if the loss of James Key will be felt more this year than last.
The Torro Rosso's already look more competitive.

What I wouldn't give to see Kamui alongside Kimi, but that was a fleeting dream :|


#105 Victor_RO

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 15:40

Cheers :up:


Also, March 29-30 is the official WEC test weekend at Paul Ricard and AF Corse should be there with a GTE-Pro car, but the drivers have yet to be announced; I would assume Kamui will be there.

#106 KTF1

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 15:42

Also, March 29-30 is the official WEC test weekend at Paul Ricard and AF Corse should be there with a GTE-Pro car, but the drivers have yet to be announced; I would assume Kamui will be there.


Didn't know about that, thanks :D

#107 TheUltimateWorrier

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 14:52

Kobayashi was interviewed by Speedweek.de, so some of the translations may be off a little as I have to rely on Google. To any German speakers here, is 'Ich drücke Ferrari die Daumen' similar to something like 'I cross my fingers for Ferrari' ?

Kamui Kobayashi: "I press the thumbs Ferrari!"

The former Sauber driver speaks in SPEEDWEEK.DE interview on his planned Formula 1 comeback, his existence as a Ferrari factory driver and the new challenge in the Endurance World Championship.

Kamui Kobayashi has pitched for his involuntary loss at Sauber team, a new chapter in his career. The 26-year-old from Amagasaki will compete in a Ferrari 458 Italia GT of the Ferrari factory team AF Corse in the GTE Pro class of the Long Distance World Championships. The Japanese told in SPEEDWEEK.DE exclusive interview from his new job.

Kamui Hello, how are you?
Very good, thank you. I'm looking forward to the new challenge in the Endurance World Championship. GT car, long distance format - much is new to me. I will learn a lot and am confident that I can be in even more. Ferrari is Formula 1 and has always been one of the top teams. So I will also see how this team and maybe I can learn something from Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.

You are the first Asian in history to Maranello factory occupies a driver role. How does it feel to be part of the largest Italian motorsport organization to be?
It is a great honor for me, part of the Ferrari family to be and I'm very happy that I glad to Ferrari employee so welcome. That I am the first Asian to me but was not aware about it, I never thought about it. It's funny: the end of 2003 I left Japan and then lived two years in Vicenza, because I started in Formula Renault. Italy, then, was the first European country in which I settled myself. For me, the move to Maranello is therefore also a homecoming after ten years.

When and where have you seen your first GT race?
I've previously looked at some of the Japanese GT racing on TV, but I do not remember which was the very first.

How do you prepare yourself for the 6h race at Silverstone on the 14th April pending?
Previously held a few test drives. So it's important that I can then spend as much time in the car, to keep as much to learn about the car and the tires. And by the way, of course I have to work on my fitness.

You could at the test on the Motorland Aragon Circuit to get a first impression of the GT car. Where are the biggest differences compared to a Formula 1 racer?
The handling is of course very different, and therefore also the driving style is very different. Everything is different. The brakes should not, for example, carbon, so it also feels very different when you step into the iron. The tires are quite different.

What is the biggest challenge in the GTE Pro class of the Long Distance World Championships?
I think we have a competitive car. But as many cars from different classes will be on the course, to get along with the traffic so is one of the major challenges to be.

Do you have plans for 2014?
Yes, I want to compete with a top team in Formula 1.

So are you coming back?
I hope that's the plan.

What would you do in your career retrospect differently?
Nothing.

Where have you seen the Australian Grand Prix?
Home in Italy on TV.

Which Formula 1 team, you press the thumb?
Of course, the Scuderia Ferrari!



#108 DaiMOn

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 20:53

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#109 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 21:09

Why is he in full F1 uniform?

#110 tjkoyen

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 21:20

Why is he in full F1 uniform?


I believe the phrase goes something like "the writing is on the wall".  ;)

#111 f1fan1998

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:16

because he is contracted by Ferrari not AF Corse. In the same way that Nick Tandy is contracted by Porsche and not whoever he was driving with last week in British GT.

He is a factory contracted driver and is placed at AF Corse as they are essentially the Ferrari works team. Hence Fisi drives there and so did / does Vilander. Plus the sponsors of Ferrari get an extended boost by being placed on GT cars for Le Mans and WEC.

#112 One

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:20

G, naturally Hamashima has played the role in getting Kobayashi in the game. Great. Looking forward to see on track actions.

#113 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:23

Ahh, I didn't know the F1 sponsors were also on the GT cars. Though there's so many GT Ferraris running around I don't know what they all look like.

Because on the face of it, it just looks like he's doing something with the F1 team. And I think Fisichella does simulator work or some other nominal role with the Big Team.

#114 One

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:30

http://corseclienti....der-fisichella/

Marketing operation, but so far Kobayashi has not finished his duty...

#115 Dolph

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 22:27

Looking a side, I do not think that Sauber chose the right driver. They have already fallen backwards on WCC and is already a rumor that they might have to sell themselves.



Dunno, the Hulk is doing great in my view. Give him some time.

#116 Dolph

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 22:30

Why is he in full F1 uniform?


Cos Ferrari want to boost their sales of Ferraris in Japan? Seriously, why do you think they hired Koba and are making such a fuss about it. Which other signing of a GT driver got such media attention during the last 100 years?

#117 Dolph

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 22:31

I believe the phrase goes something like "the writing is on the wall". ;)


You think they passed on Perez to sign Koba?

#118 Bunchies

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 00:26

Can anyone translate this video from Japanese to English?

http://www.youtube.c...p;v=mlFjcoDmb7A

Had difficulty transcribing.

#119 tjkoyen

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 01:05

You think they passed on Perez to sign Koba?


I'm somewhat joking, hence the winky face, but they said Perez was too inexperienced. Also I think Perez is fairly overrated in his current form and his form from last year. Nearly all of his all-star performances were under strange circumstances or running unusual strategies. Kobayashi may not be much better but he is slightly more experienced and his P2 Spa qualifying and Japan weekend and a few others stuck out as pure performance on his part rather than executing a strange strategy to make it to the front. So in that respect I find Kobayashi as the superior driver. His luck was terrible last year as well.

I think the odds are pretty slim that he'll get a spot at Ferrari F1 in the near future, especially given that Massa has some renewed form nowadays. I surely would like him to be there, but at the moment I can't see it happening.

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#120 muramasa

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 07:10


lol one of usual suspects who's quick to come to drop poo poo on each and every Kobayashi topic, esp positive one, no matter how trivial, is already there :o :lol:

Anyone who's sane can easily and instantly know that this is just a factory trip, a nice little treat for him. Anything more than that, all those guesswork, is just about having fun. :rolleyes: ;)


Can anyone translate this video from Japanese to English?

http://www.youtube.c...p;v=mlFjcoDmb7A

Had difficulty transcribing.

that's old one, to announce signing Ferrari to participate WEC from AF Corse for his 2013 racing activity. Nothing noteworthy really, but he says this was the best possible choice he could made so he's happy and looking forward to the new challenge and thanks everyone. He makes it clear that his objective is to return to F1. Domenicali told him they cant tell about his F1 position/involvement atm but if he does the given task well there should be more chance leading to F1 (again, anyone who's sane and realistic knows this is just sort of flattery or compliment. Just in case usual suspects bother to come at it ) . He hopes to expand and create future possibility as much as possible by doing his best on tasks within Ferrari and exploring more by himself.

Edited by muramasa, 06 April 2013 - 07:11.


#121 Sakae

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 07:36

I really would like to see a Japanese driver back in F1, but fact remains, that there are many more names on candidates list of any sorts, than seats that are available, and Kamui's name is unfortunately not coming up (that I would be aware off). Good question is then whether fat lady sang, and its all over for him, or perhaps under some bizarre set of circumstance he still has a realistic shot. I thought initially that FI was his last realistic shot in 2013, but no. One can only hope now that there are different considerations by fans and media, to those of team's managers.

Edited by Sakae, 06 April 2013 - 07:37.


#122 Bunchies

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 09:00

Yep, the grid feels empty without him. He always had very strong presence on track. Something you don't feel anymore.

His driving style made the car seem larger than life. It was spectacular to watch.

#123 Bunchies

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 17:31

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#124 F1ultimate

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 17:46

I almost mistook the guy to the left for Valteri Bottas. What is happening in the photo above?

#125 911

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 17:49

It's probably from Silverstone this weekend. It also looks like Bruno is next to him, as well.

Edited by 911, 14 April 2013 - 17:49.


#126 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 17:56

I almost mistook the guy to the left for Valteri Bottas. What is happening in the photo above?


It's called a podium.

#127 Talisman

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 18:23

I almost mistook the guy to the left for Valteri Bottas. What is happening in the photo above?


You got the right nationality, its Kobayashi's teammate Toni Vilander. Good performance by the pair but the Aston was quicker as was the other AF Corse Ferrari until it ran into problems. Still its only his first race so I'm sure he'll improve.

#128 Victor_RO

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 19:39

Koba did very well today, apart from one spin I think he kept out of trouble, raced hard and raced well, I think he was nose-to-tail with Marc Lieb (one of the acknowledged masters of GT racing, in the new 991 RSR) for about 15-20 laps. And even that spin was not his fault, there was a patch of water on the track from a car crawling back to the pits with a burst radiator. Good debut all-around I'd say, and judging from the interviews he gave today, he seemed to be enjoying himself.

#129 TimRTC

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 23:18

Yes, great to see him on a podium - you see F1 is just a proving ground for drivers to be selected for the real elite of motorsport.

#130 qczhao

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 15:11

There is no doubt that Kobayashi would do well. He is a great driver. :)

Hopefully his career continues in an upwards trajectory, whether its in sports cars or F1.

#131 Jimisgod

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 15:17

Yes, great to see him on a podium - you see F1 is just a proving ground for drivers to be selected for the real elite of motorsport.


Sure looks that way while his replacement at Sauber continues to drive into walls and Sutils. :rolleyes:

#132 alain_sl

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 08:50

http://instagram.com/p/Zzp4JRQ7s0/#
"Scuderia Ferrari"

#133 muramasa

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 11:31


hm

seems he's in Maranello
http://instagram.com/p/ZzoqoeQ7r7/#
he was in Monaco for f1 weekend
busy man
looks like working for clienti program

#134 Sakae

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 11:37

I want him back, and still missing him on the track.

#135 UPRC

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 11:57

Great to see Kamui enjoying some success in red. :up:

#136 fisssssi

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 13:19

After seeing 2x Massa's big accidents on the weekend it got me thinking...

If something was to happen to one of Ferrari's two race drivers, would Kamui be in the hot seat to step in as a replacement?

#137 muramasa

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 13:31


^PDLR isnt it?

For them Kamui is one of options, as is either one of Hulk, Bianchi etc. if they wish, they can pull one of those drivers from other teams anytime.

#138 HaydenFan

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 14:08

Yeah, I don't see Kamui getting a chance with the team. He is signed to drive for a sportscar team heavily backed by Ferrari. He is technically not even a Ferrari driver.

#139 Bunchies

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 15:15

Yeah, I don't see Kamui getting a chance with the team. He is signed to drive for a sportscar team heavily backed by Ferrari. He is technically not even a Ferrari driver.


Can somebody clarify and elaborate on this? It was my impression that he was a Ferrari factory driver contracted to AF Corse?

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#140 HaydenFan

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 15:21

Can somebody clarify and elaborate on this? It was my impression that he was a Ferrari factory driver contracted to AF Corse?


It's a factory supported team, where he is in sense a Ferrari contracted driver, but this program is not run out of the Maranello factory like the F1 team, an has no ties outside the money train to the F1 team. So in that sense, Kobayashi is not signed to a transferable deal. He is not part of the company in the way that Fisichella was in 2010.

#141 Victor_RO

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 15:38

We'll probably get a better appraisal of where Kamui fits in Ferrari's GT racing programme if/when he starts racing with AF Corse (or anyone else) outside the World Endurance Championship.

#142 midgrid

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 16:28

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Prelude to 2014 (a man can dream...)?

#143 HaydenFan

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 16:30

We'll probably get a better appraisal of where Kamui fits in Ferrari's GT racing programme if/when he starts racing with AF Corse (or anyone else) outside the World Endurance Championship.


I'd like to see him (an AF Corse) run in the United SportsCar Racing (still a stupid name) series next year. Both GT classes will have quality Ferrari seats, and both look to be incredibly deep in terms of at least cars numbers. You're right though. If this is more than a one year evaluation of him, or just a gap year for him trying to find another F1 seat, this GT chance is a big opportunity.

Edited by HaydenFan, 27 May 2013 - 16:32.


#144 muramasa

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 16:53


Kamui makes it more than clear he wants to race in F1 in 2014 and working for the objective.
Ferrari making him attend Monaco GP (famous event where VIP gathers, hence precious opportunity for him to keep up his recognition and presence in F1) and giving him chance to drive old Ferrari F1 car in Russia for promo event is generous attitude from them.


#145 Sakae

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 17:00

I am hoping that Kamui will have more luck in Russia than a guy who took one of the Williams' cars for a spin in South America, and really made a mess out of it. :D

#146 falalalalaland

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 18:34

Sorry this is slightly off-topic, but how many test drivers do Ferrari need?! Gene, Fisi, Badoer, PdlR, now Kobayashi looks to be in the mix too... I'm just amused.

#147 Victor_RO

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 18:46

Badoer is retired, Gene is doing sim work, PdlR is in charge of straight-line and tire testing, Fisi and Kobayashi are outsourced to the GT programme. Being a test driver for Ferrari is not necessarily equivalent to being a test driver for the F1 team, although it might include that every now and again.

#148 KinoNoNo

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 18:57

Something I find interesting, is Ferrari using him for promotional work.

I don't remember when he signed for the sportscars, that working with the F1 team in any capacity was in the offing.

Was it a last minute decision that he would be going?

#149 Victor_RO

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 18:58

Aren't Corse Clienti managing the cars that go on the roadshow-style events?

#150 F1ultimate

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 19:01

:blush: :blush: :blush: :blush:
Ferrari is such a tease.

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http://www.f1fanatic...ba-fior-2013-1/

Edited by F1ultimate, 27 May 2013 - 19:03.