Kobayashi: I'm ready to drive Caterham forward

Kobayashi: I'm ready to drive Caterham forward

6 February 2014 – Kamui Kobayashi has made a welcome return to the Formula 1 paddock this season, donning Caterham overhauls for his second attempt at the 'big time'. GPUpdate.net sat down with the 27-year-old Japanese at last week's Jerez test, where the majority of outfits debuted their turbocharged 2014 challengers...

"It's definitely a nice feeling," says Kobayashi, as he enjoys the comfort of his new team's hospitality unit. "This is what I wanted, to be back in F1. There are a lot of rule changes, so every team has a chance to do well now."

He continues: "It's going to be a surprise this year. Just look at how few cars were running on the first test day. Also at Caterham, it wasn't a good situation. Hopefully we can make the car competitive before Melbourne."

Kobayashi's return comes after a one-year hiatus. Having been unable to secure a seat for the 2013 campaign, he made the switch to Ferrari, for whom he raced a Ferrari 458 in the World Endurance Championship. And despite crashing the team's F1 showcar during a promotional event in Moscow, he enjoyed the overall journey.

"I had a good time last year," reflects Kobayashi. "Working with Ferrari was a very good experience. But there were less than ten races in GT. In F1 you have 19 or 20 races, which is far more intense. So I had more than enough time to prepare for this F1 comeback.

"I had a lot of time for myself; I am completely relaxed. I'm ready to focus 100 percent on my job at Caterham."

Kobayashi first had contact with Caterham in December, following which negotiations over a potential drive progressed "very quickly". And although he concedes that steps need to be made if the Leafield-based team is to fight with the sport's top outfits in the future, he has been impressed with what he has seen to date.

"My impression of the team is very good," the former Toyota and Sauber driver explains. "They have a lot of work to do if they want to become successful, but I can really feel that this team wants to do a good job.

"This team finished at the bottom [of the Constructors' Championship] last year so there is definitely something to be done, but this team has a lot of potential and I will work hard to help them. I'm ready for that."

Kobayashi will be aided in his mission by rookie team-mate Marcus Ericsson and reserve Robin Frijns. Both are young drivers boasting feeder category success, particularly in Frijns' case, and he is pleased to see opportunities go their way.

"It's good that the team has two young drivers," he says. "I'm very happy to work with them and I am used to that situation, since I worked with [now Force India driver] Sergio Pérez at Sauber. I haven't worked a lot with Marcus and Robin yet, I just met them one week before the test. Let's see if we can develop a strong car together."

It has been so far, so good for Kobayashi, whose podium on home soil in 2012 is the personal best finish he will be hoping to surpass in future seasons. But what one aspect would he like to change ahead of his comeback?

"The new engines make F1 sound like F3," Kobayashi mutters. "I prefer the V8 sound for sure..."

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Friday 18 April 2014

  2. Honda: No plans to supply second team in 2015 11:56

    Honda: No plans to supply second team in 2015

    Honda's Yasuhisa Arai says that the Japanese manufacturer has no plans to supply power units to a second team when they...

    F1
  3. Maldonado accepts blame for pit entry accident 11:45

    Maldonado accepts blame for pit entry accident

    Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado has accepted the blame for a mistake during the second practice session in China which...

    F1
  4. Alonso encouraged by Ferrari updates 11:40

    Alonso encouraged by Ferrari updates

    Fernando Alonso says that he is encouraged by the upgrades which Ferrari has applied to the F14 T ahead of this weekend's...

    F1
  5. Minor problems hampering Marussia progress 11:27

    Minor problems hampering Marussia progress

    Marussia drivers Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton admitted it was difficult to get into a rhythm during practice for the...

    F1
  6. Magnussen baffled by McLaren's uncompetitiveness 11:08

    Magnussen baffled by McLaren's uncompetitiveness

    McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen says he is perplexed by his team's lack of competitiveness in China compared to the opening...

    F1
  7. Pérez targets improvements to balance 11:02

    Pérez targets improvements to balance

    Force India racer Sergio Pérez says he needs to improve the balance of the VJM07 ahead of qualifying for the Chinese Grand...

    F1
  8. Sutil downbeat after difficult practice session 10:56

    Sutil downbeat after difficult practice session

    Adrian Sutil says that Sauber faces a lot of work in order to improve the C33 and provide the team a with a chance of...

    F1
  9. Williams package 'better than in Bahrain' 10:48

    Williams package 'better than in Bahrain'

    Williams driver Valtteri Bottas says that the team has a better package in China than they did at the last round two weeks...

    F1
  10. Vettel still searching for engine improvement 10:30

    Vettel still searching for engine improvement

    Sebastian Vettel says he and Red Bull are still searching for improvements with Renault's new turbocharged power...

    F1
  11. Rosberg anticipating battle with Hamilton 10:27

    Rosberg anticipating battle with Hamilton

    Nico Rosberg expects the greatest challenge to his chance of victory at this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix to come from...

    F1
  12. 10:15

    Latest F1 photos: Friday at Shanghai

    F1
  13. Hamilton: No discussion with Rosberg 10:03

    Hamilton: No discussion with Rosberg

    Lewis Hamilton has denied taking part in 'clear the air' talks with Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg. Rosberg said in the...

    F1
  14. Hamilton learns little from opening day 09:42

    Hamilton learns little from opening day

    Lewis Hamilton says he learned little from the opening day of practice for the Chinese Grand Prix, despite setting the...

    F1
  15. Video: Maldonado crashes at Shanghai 09:16

    Video: Maldonado crashes at Shanghai

    Relive Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado's crash during second practice for the Chinese Grand Prix.

    F1
  16. 08:33

    Chinese GP: Full Free Practice 2 results

    F1
  17. Hamilton puts Mercedes on top in FP2 08:32

    Hamilton puts Mercedes on top in FP2

    Lewis Hamilton returned Mercedes to the top of the timesheets during second practice for the Chinese Grand Prix on Friday...

    F1
  18. 06:56

    Follow second practice for the Chinese GP!

    F1
  19. Video: A to Z of Formula 1 – Part 5 (R to U) 06:52

    Video: A to Z of Formula 1 – Part 5 (R to U)

    Red Bull presents 'The A to Z of Formula 1' and in Part 5 looks at R to U.

    F1
  20. 04:33

    Chinese GP: Full Free Practice 1 results

    F1
  21. Alonso fastest in first Shanghai practice 04:32

    Alonso fastest in first Shanghai practice

    Fernando Alonso set the standard during Friday morning's opening free practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix. The...

    F1
  22. McLaren running special livery in China 03:31

    McLaren running special livery in China

    McLaren will race with a modified, one-off car livery at this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix. As it did to celebrate its...

    F1
  23. 03:00

    Follow first practice for the Chinese GP!

    F1
  24. Video of the Day: Hamilton's China guide 01:30

    Video of the Day: Hamilton's China guide

    Join Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton for a lap of the Shanghai International Circuit.

    F1
  25. Thursday 17 April 2014

  26. Video: Rosberg previews the Chinese GP 16:00

    Video: Rosberg previews the Chinese GP

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg looks ahead to the Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit.

    F1
  27. Hamilton tipped to triumph in China 15:07

    Hamilton tipped to triumph in China

    GPUpdate.net readers have backed Lewis Hamilton to claim victory at this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix. The former World...

    F1
  28. Vettel targets top five finish at Shanghai 14:31

    Vettel targets top five finish at Shanghai

    Sebastian Vettel says he would see a top five finish at the Chinese Grand Prix as a good result. The German, who won the...

    F1
  29. Video: DJ mixes Formula 1 car noises 14:08

    Video: DJ mixes Formula 1 car noises

    This May, Mobil 1 engine oil turns Jenson Button's McLaren MP4-29 into a musical instrument like no other.

    F1
  30. Rosberg set to 'clear the air' with Hamilton 13:43

    Rosberg set to 'clear the air' with Hamilton

    Nico Rosberg has revealed that he plans to clear the air with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton ahead of this weekend's...

    F1
  31. Button expects Mercedes to stay dominant 12:57

    Button expects Mercedes to stay dominant

    Jenson Button expects Mercedes to continue its dominance of the 2014 season for the foreseeable future, admitting that it...

    F1
  32. Video: A to Z of Formula 1 – Part 4 (M to Q) 12:00

    Video: A to Z of Formula 1 – Part 4 (M to Q)

    Red Bull presents 'The A to Z of Formula 1' and in Part 4 looks at M to Q.

    F1
  33. Räikkönen surprised by Domenicali exit 11:53

    Räikkönen surprised by Domenicali exit

    Kimi Räikkönen says Stefano Domenicali's resignation as Ferrari team boss came as a surprise to him. Domenicali, who had b...

    F1
  34. Ricciardo over appeal: I had moved on 11:09

    Ricciardo over appeal: I had moved on

    Despite admitting to disappointment after Red Bull's failed appeal over his exclusion from the season-opening Australian...

    F1
  35. Alonso: New boss Mattiacci needs time 10:09

    Alonso: New boss Mattiacci needs time

    Fernando Alonso is hoping that Marco Mattiacci will be given sufficient time to adapt to his new role as Team Principal of...

    F1
  36. Marko expecting Red Bull improvement 09:54

    Marko expecting Red Bull improvement

    Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko is expecting the team to edge towards the front of the field in coming races. Despite...

    F1
  37. Plans for championship with ex-F1 drivers 09:38

    Plans for championship with ex-F1 drivers

    Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is planning to set up a championship for former Grand Prix drivers. Earlier this...

    F1
  38. Chilton eyes similarly strong race in Shanghai 07:00

    Chilton eyes similarly strong race in Shanghai

    Max Chilton has said he will be aiming for a 'similarly strong race' in China this weekend after leaving the Bahrain GP on a...

    F1
  39. 06:20

    Latest F1 photos: Preparations at Shanghai

    F1
  40. Rosberg: It's going to get more difficult 06:00

    Rosberg: It's going to get more difficult

    Nico Rosberg is expecting Mercedes' rivals to close the gap more and more as the season progresses, although he is still...

    F1
  41. Shanghai memories: Gutiérrez runs into Sutil 05:00

    Shanghai memories: Gutiérrez runs into Sutil

    Esteban Gutiérrez ran dramatically over the back of Adrian Sutil's car during the opening stages of the 2013 Chinese Grand...

    F1
  42. Wednesday 16 April 2014

  43. Hülkenberg 'surprised' to be third 17:44

    Hülkenberg 'surprised' to be third

    Force India's Nico Hülkenberg has admitted he is a bit stunned by just how strongly he has started the 2014 Formula 1...

    F1