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Kamui Kobayashi (小林 可夢偉 in Japanese; born 13th September 1986 in Amagasaki, Hyogo, Japan) is a Japanese Formula One driver who drove for Caterham. He covered for the injured Timo Glock at Toyota in the last two races of the 2009 season, and he made quite an impression. He was signed up by BMW Sauber in 2010, and has continued to drive for the team until the end of 2012.

In the 2012 Japanese Grand Prix, he got the first and only podium in his Formula One career.

In 2013, he was a test driver for the Scuderia Ferrari team. When he demonstrated a Ferrari in Russia, he crashed into a barrier which later caught fire from his car (seen from spectator view). He was OK.

He was then once seen again in the Ferrari pit garage at the 2013 Japanese Grand Prix.

After being unable to obtain a drive in 2013, he joined the Caterham team for 2014, with his car number being #10.

Formula One Career[]

Before Formula One[]

Kobayashi & Vettel In Formula Three

Kamui Kobayashi alongside Sebastian Vettel in a Formula Three photoshoot

Kobayashi began his racing career in the SL Takarazuka Tournament Cadet Class for karting at the age of nine. His karting career lasted another seven years, during which he earned two titles. In 2004, Kobayashi signed for Toyota's Driver Academy and began racing in Formula Renault. In 2005, he won both the Formula Renault Eurocup and Italian championship titles, with six race wins in each series.

In 2006, Kobayashi entered into the Formula Three Euro Series. In this series he raced against some familiar Formula One racers such as, Paul di Resta, Giedo van der Garde and four time World Champion Sebastian Vettel. He managed to earn three podiums in his first season and win the rookie's championship title. He continued his Formula Three career the following year, improving enough to get 4th position in the championship. During this year, he was also hired as a test driver for Toyota's Formula One team, a position he would hold for a total of two years.

While serving as a test driver for Toyota, he also entered the GP2 series. He won the GP2 Asia Series championship in the 2008-2009 season.


Kobayashi began his Formula One career in 2009 when he was called to Toyota to fill in for Timo Glock who was ill and unable to participate in the first two free practice sessions of the Japanese Grand Prix. Glock returned to enter the free practice and qualifying. Despite the team's request to run Kobayashi in the race, the FIA did not allow Toyota to replace Kobayashi with Glock for the event. During qualifying for the event, Glock was involved in an accident and received a minor cut on his leg. However, he was able to compete in the race.

Later, Glock was hospitalized because of a complication from his leg injury received from Japan qualifying and Kobayashi was asked to again fill in for him in the Brazilian Grand Prix. Unlike the last time he filled in, Kobayashi would race the event too. He qualified in for 11th on the grid after a qualifying session that would be red-flagged twice because of poor weather conditions. During the race, Kobayashi managed to keep Jenson Button behind him for several laps. Kobayashi finished in 9th position after Heikki Kovalainen was penalized for an unsafe release during his first pitstop.

Kamui Kobayashi Abu Dhabi Qualifying 2009

Kamui Kobayashi qualifying for the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

"But that race today, to me, was worthy of becoming world champion. Kobayashi is absolutely crazy, very aggressive. It was a great race, really enjoyable. That was the perfect way to do it." - Jenson Button

With Glock still unable to race, Kobayashi was able to compete in the following race at Abu Dhabi. Here he was able to finish in P6 and earn the first points of his career. Toyota gave Kobayashi a full ride for the next season. However, Toyota made the last minute decision to pull out of Formula One and not compete in the next season, leaving Kobayashi without a ride.


Kobayashi's future in Formula One was unknown after team Toyota pulled out of the sport at the end of the 2009 season. At the end December, it was announced that Sauber would sign him for the 2010 season. He would race alongside his new teammate, Pedro de la Rosa who was returning to Formula One after his three season absence.

Kamui Kobayashi Australian Grand Prix Accident 2010

Kamui Kobayashi bouncing off of the wall in the 2010 Australian Grand Prix

The first four races for the season went poorly for Kobayashi. In Bahrain, he suffered an engine failure that forced him to retire. In Australia, he suffered a front wing failure that shot his car into the inside wall. The car then cut across the corner, also taking out Nico Hülkenberg and Sébastien Buemi. At the following race in Malaysia, Kobayashi suffered his second engine failure of the season early in the race. In China, Kobayashi was collected after the Vitantonio Liuzzi spun his car across the track, ramping Buemi's car. Kobayashi was on the outside of the turn and was unable to avoid the accident.

Kobayashi managed to finish his first race for the season in Spain, although he was two positions below a points scoring position. It wasn't until the seventh round in Turkey that Kobayashi scored his first point, after beating his teammate by only .294 seconds. This was also the first point for the team since their return to Formula One.

Kamui Kobayashi Racing In The Belgian Grand Prix 2010

Kamui Kobayashi racing in the 2010 Belgian Grand Prix in wet weather conditions

The following race in Canada, Kobayashi paid a visit to the Wall of Champions on the first lap and retired from the race a lap later with damage. A stunning overtake in Valencia gave him another six points after he overtook both Fernando Alonso and Buemi in the closing laps. He gained another 14 points in Britain, Hungary and Belgium.

After the Italian Grand Prix, Kobayashi's teammate was replaced with Nick Heidfeld who was making a return to Formula One. In three of the final five races of the season, Kobayashi managed to score points. This gave him a total of 32 points to end the season, placing him in 12th for the World Championship.

Kobayashi was so impressive in the season, he was mentioned by retired Formula One broadcaster, Murray Walker in his 2010 season review for BBC:

"...just as impressive and daring for Sauber as he was in his two Toyota races last year...And so exciting to watch. In a well backed Sauber next year, he should be even better." - Murray Walker


With Sauber for a second year, Kobayashi was paired with rookie Sergio Pérez for the 2011 season. Early in the season, the team was already disqualified because their rear wing design violated a regulation. For the following six races, he managed to score points and set a career high in Monaco when he finished in 5th position.

Kamui Kobayashi Airborne While Practicing For The 2011 Singapore Grand Prix

Kamui Kobayashi airborne while practicing for the 2011 Singapore Grand Prix

He performed great in Canada when he came from 13th on the grid to 2nd position in wet conditions. When the race was red flagged because of the weather, he changed to the extreme wet tyres. When the race resumed, the track began to dry out and this force him to change to the intermediate and then the slick tyres to remain on the pace. This lower him to sixth position, but on the final straight of the race, Felipe Massa overtook him. Kobayashi finished seventh position, but was only 0.045 seconds behind Massa.

Kobayashi finished the all of the remaining races, with the exception of Britain and Italy with mechanical failures and India when he was involved in an opening lap accident. He finished the season in 12th position with 30 points, four positions above his teammate. Midway through the season, the team confirmed that they had signed both drivers for the 2012 season.


Continuing with Sauber for the 2012 season, Kobayashi finished in 6th position in Australia. The season was off to a good start. Despite a retirement in Malaysia because of a mechanical failure, he managed to qualify for 3rd position in the Chinese Grand Prix. Although he fell back to tenth position in the race, he did manage to set the first fastest lap of his career.

An impressive double overtake in the closing laps of the Spanish Grand Prix allowed Kobayashi to finish in 5th position. Another great performance in Germany placed him into 5th position, but a post-race penalty for Vettel upgraded his result to fourth position. This was a career high for him.

2012 Belgian Grand Prix First Lap Accident

An accident in the first corner of the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix

Despite being involved in the first corner accident for the Belgian Grand Prix, Kobayashi continued the race to earn a 13th position. Although he earned no points for his finish, he was the only one of the five cars involved in the accident to continue the race.

Kamui Kobayashi Japan 2012 Podium

Kamui Kobayashi on the podium at his home Grand Prix

He beat a career milestone in his home Grand Prix, earning his first career podium. This was also his highest finish in his Formula One career. He managed to hold off Button for the entire race to keep this third position.

"This I cannot put into words. It was a fantastic feeling to see all the people in my home country so emotional and happy. It gave me such a lot and I will never forget that moment. I want to thank the Japanese fans for the great support they gave to the Sauber F1 Team and to myself." - Kamui Kobayashi

For his third consecutive season, Kobayashi gained a 12th position in the World Championship with 60 points. This put him two positions (six points) behind his teammate. It was announced that both drivers on the Sauber team would be replaced for the next season with Esteban Gutiérrez and Nico Hülkenberg. Kobayashi decided to focus on finding a drive for the 2014 season and sit out the 2013 season.


Formula One Statistical Overview[]

F1 Career Record[]

Year Entrant Team Pts WDC Pos Report
2007 Panasonic Toyota Racing Toyota Test Driver
2008 Panasonic Toyota Racing Toyota Test Driver
2009 Panasonic Toyota Racing Toyota Test Driver Report
3 18th
2010 BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber-Ferrari 32 12th Report
2011 Sauber F1 Team Sauber-Ferrari 30 12th Report
2012 Sauber F1 Team Sauber-Ferrari 60 12th Report
2013 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari Test Driver
2014 Caterham F1 Team Caterham-Renault 0 21st Report


Correct as of the 2012 Korean Grand Prix

Entries 76
Starts 74
Pole Positions 0
Front Row Starts 1
Race Wins 0
Podiums 1
Fastest Laps 1
Points 125
Laps Raced 3555
Distance Raced 18,158 km (11,283 mi)

Career Results[]

Complete Formula One Results
Year 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Pts Pos
2009 Flag of Australia Flag of Malaysia Flag of China Flag of Bahrain Flag of Spain Flag of Monaco Flag of Turkey Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of Germany Flag of Hungary Flag of Europe Flag of Belgium Flag of Italy Flag of Singapore Flag of Japan Flag of Brazil Flag of the United Arab Emirates 3 18th

PO 9th 6th
2010 Flag of Bahrain Flag of Australia Flag of Malaysia Flag of China Flag of Spain Flag of Monaco Flag of Turkey Flag of Canada Flag of Europe Flag of Great Britain Flag of Germany Flag of Hungary Flag of Belgium Flag of Italy Flag of Singapore Flag of Japan Flag of South Korea Flag of Brazil Flag of the United Arab Emirates 32 12th
Ret Ret Ret Ret 12th Ret 10th Ret 7th 6th 11th 9th 8th Ret Ret 7th 8th 10th 14th
2011 Flag of Bahrain Flag of Australia Flag of Malaysia Flag of China Flag of Turkey Flag of Spain Flag of Monaco Flag of Canada Flag of Europe Flag of Great Britain Flag of Germany Flag of Hungary Flag of Belgium Flag of Italy Flag of Singapore Flag of Japan Flag of South Korea Flag of India Flag of the United Arab Emirates Flag of Brazil 30 12th
C DSQ 7th 10th 10th 10th 5th 7th 16th Ret 9th 11th 12th Ret 14th 13th 15th Ret 10th 9th
2012 Flag of Australia Flag of Malaysia Flag of China Flag of Bahrain Flag of Spain Flag of Monaco Flag of Canada Flag of Europe Flag of Great Britain Flag of Germany Flag of Hungary Flag of Belgium Flag of Italy Flag of Singapore Flag of Japan Flag of South Korea Flag of India Flag of the United Arab Emirates Flag of the United States Flag of Brazil 60 12th
6th Ret 10th 13th 5th Ret 9th Ret 11th 4th 18th 13th 9th 13th 3rd Ret 14th 6th 14th 9th
2013: Did not compete.
2014 Flag of Australia Flag of Malaysia Flag of Bahrain Flag of China Flag of Spain Flag of Monaco Flag of Canada Flag of Austria Flag of Great Britain Flag of Germany Flag of Hungary Flag of Belgium Flag of Italy Flag of Singapore Flag of Japan Flag of Russia Flag of the United States Flag of Brazil Flag of the United Arab Emirates 0 22nd
Ret 13th 15th 18th Ret 13th Ret 16th 15th 16th Ret 17th DNS 19th Ret Ret
Symbol Meaning Symbol Meaning
1st Winner Ret Retired
2nd Podium finish DSQ Disqualified
3rd DNQ Did not qualify
5th Points finish DNPQ Did not pre-qualify
14th Non-points finish TD Test driver
Italics Fastest Lap DNS Did not start
18th Classified finish (retired with >90% race distance) NC Non-classified finish (<90% race distance)
4thP Qualified for pole position [+] More Symbols


  1. Race stopped after 31/56 Laps. Half points awarded

Template:Kamui Kobayashi

V T E Teams and Drivers
2007 Teams and Drivers
Teams McLarenRenaultFerrariHondaBMW SauberToyotaRed BullWilliamsToro RossoSpykerSuper Aguri
Engines BMWFerrariHondaMercedesRenaultToyota
Drivers 1 Alonso • 2 Hamilton • 3 Fisichella • 4 Kovalainen • 5 Massa • 6 Räikkönen • 7 Button • 8 Barrichello • 9 Heidfeld • 10 Kubica/Vettel • 11 R. Schumacher • 12 Trulli • 14 Coulthard • 15 Webber • 16 Rosberg • 17 Wurz/Nakajima • 18 Liuzzi • 19 Speed/Vettel • 20 Sutil • 21 Albers/Winkelhock/Yamamoto • 22 Sato • 23 Davidson
Other Drivers AlbuquerqueAmmermüllerAndrettiAsmerBadoerBirdBourdaisBuemiChandhokChandhok
2008 Teams and Drivers
Teams FerrariBMW SauberRenaultWilliamsRed BullToyotaToro RossoHondaSuper AguriForce IndiaMcLaren
Engines MercedesRenaultFerrariBMWToyotaHonda
Race Drivers Räikkönen • 2 Massa • 3 Heidfeld • 4 Kubica • 5 Alonso • 6 Piquet, Jr • 7 Rosberg • 8 Nakajima • 9 Coulthard • 10 Webber • 11 Trulli • 12 Glock • 14 Bourdais • 15 Vettel • 16 Button • 17 Barrichello • 18 Sato • 19 Davidson • 20 Sutil • 21 Fisichella • 22 Hamilton • 23 Kovalainen
Other Drivers Badoer • Gené • Schumacher • Klien • Asmer • di Grassi • Grosjean • Yamamoto • Hülkenberg • Buemi • Kobayashi • Hartley • Wurz • Conway • Filippi • Liuzzi • Paffett • de la Rosa
2009 Teams and Drivers
Teams McLarenFerrariBMW SauberRenaultToyotaToro RossoRed BullWilliamsForce IndiaBrawn
Engines MercedesRenaultFerrariBMWToyota
Race Drivers Hamilton • 2 Kovalainen • 3 Massa • Badoer • 4 Räikkönen • 5 Kubica • 6 Heidfeld • 7 Alonso • 8 Piquet, Jr • 8 Grosjean • 9 Trulli • 10 Glock • 10 Kobayashi • 11 Bourdais • 11 Alguersuari • 12 Buemi • 14 Webber • 15 Vettel • 16 Rosberg • 17 Nakajima • 20 Sutil • 21/3 Fisichella • 21 Liuzzi • 22 Button • 23 Barrichello
Other Drivers Paffett • de la Rosa • Gené • Klien • di Grassi • Hartley • Coulthard • Hülkenberg • Davidson • Wurz
2010 Teams and Drivers
Teams McLarenMercedesRed BullFerrariWilliamsRenaultForce IndiaToro RossoLotusHRTBMW SauberVirgin
Engines MercedesRenaultFerrariCosworth
Race Drivers Button • 2 Hamilton • 3 Schumacher • 4 Rosberg • 5 Vettel • 6 Webber • 7 Massa • 8 Alonso • 9 Barrichello • 10 Hülkenberg • 11 Kubica • 12 Petrov • 14 Sutil • 15 Liuzzi • 16 Buemi • 17 Alguersuari • 18 Trulli • 19 Kovalainen • 20 Chandhok • 20/21 Yamamoto • 20 Klien • 21 Senna • 22 De la Rosa • 22 Heidfeld • 23 Kobayashi • 24 Glock • 25 Di Grassi
Other Drivers Paffett • Hartley • Ricciardo • Coulthard • Fisichella • Badoer • Gené • Bottas • Tung • D'Ambrosio • Charouz • Di Resta • Fauzy • Soucek • Razia
2011 Teams and Drivers
Teams Red Bull • McLaren • Ferrari • Mercedes • Renault • Williams • Force India • Sauber • Toro Rosso • Lotus • HRT • Virgin
Engines Renault • Mercedes • Ferrari • Cosworth
Race Drivers Vettel • 2 Webber • 3 Hamilton • 4 Button • 5 Alonso • 6 Massa • 7 Schumacher • 8 Rosberg • 9 Heidfeld • 9 Senna • 10 Petrov • 11 Barrichello • 12 Maldonado • 14 Sutil • 15 Di Resta • 16 Kobayashi • 17 Pérez • 17 De la Rosa • 18 Buemi • 19 Alguersuari • 20 Kovalainen • 21 Trulli • 21 Chandhok • 22 Karthikeyan • 22/23 Ricciardo • 23 Liuzzi • 24 Glock • 25 d'Ambrosio
Other Drivers Paffett • Fisichella • Bianchi • Gené • Davidson • Grosjean • Fauzy • Tung • Charouz • Bottas • Hülkenberg • Gutiérrez • Vergne • Razia • Valsecchi • Teixeira • Yamamoto • Wickens • Quaife-Hobbs
2012 Teams and Drivers
Teams Red Bull • McLaren • Ferrari • Mercedes • Lotus • Force India • Sauber • Toro Rosso • Williams • Caterham • HRT • Marussia
Engines Renault • Ferrari • Mercedes • Cosworth
Race Drivers Vettel • 2 Webber • 3 Button • 4 Hamilton • 5 Alonso • 6 Massa • 7 Schumacher • 8 Rosberg • 9 Räikkönen • 10 Grosjean • d'Ambrosio • 11 di Resta • 12 Hülkenberg • 14 Kobayashi • 15 Pérez • 16 Ricciardo • 17 Vergne • 18 Maldonado • 19 Senna • 20 Kovalainen • 21 Petrov • 22 de la Rosa • 23 Karthikeyan • 24 Glock • Pic
Other Drivers Buemi • Paffett • Turvey • Gené • Rigon • Fisichella • Bird • Hartley • Korjus • Bianchi • Daly • Guttiérrez • Bottas • Wolff • van der Garde • Rossi • González • Clos • Ma • Liuzzi • Chilton • de Villota
2014 Teams and Drivers
Teams Caterham • Ferrari • Force India • Lotus • Marussia • McLaren • Mercedes • Red Bull • Sauber • Toro Rosso • Williams
Engines Ferrari • Mercedes • Renault
Drivers Vettel • 3 Ricciardo • 4 Chilton • 6 Rosberg • 7 Räikkönen • 8 Grosjean • 9 Ericsson • 10 Kobayashi • 11 Pérez • 13 Maldonado • 14 Alonso • 17 Bianchi • 19 Massa • 20 Magnussen • 21 Gutiérrez • 22 Button • 25 Vergne • 26 Kvyat • 27 Hülkenberg • 42 Rossi • 44 Hamilton • 45 Lotterer • 46 Stevens • 77 Bottas • 99 Sutil
Other Drivers Buemi • De la Rosa • Félix da Costa • Frijns • Gené • Juncadella • Paffett • Rigon • Sirotkin • Sørensen • Turvey • Van der Garde • Vandoorne • Wolff

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