Formula One Fantasy - Saubers Kamui Kobayashi 30 Sep 2011
Since his debut for Toyota back in 2009 Saubers Kamui Kobayashi has made a strong impression on F1 racing. A fearless overtaker, Kobayashi is a real entertainer on the track, and ahead of his home race next weekend he reminds us of how entertaining he is off it, too. The Japanese driver explains why his Formula One Fantasies would include racing around a V20-engined Brabham around the streets of Tokyo with Ayrton Senna as a team mate and more
Q: You must choose a city for a new Formula One street circuit - which city, anywhere in the world, do you choose, and why?
Kamui Kobayashi: Tokyo. The environment and logistics are fantastic and so is the tarmac. Indeed, I would say its the perfect tarmac for a street race. And the nightlife is amazing, so I would say that Formula One would love Tokyo just as much as Tokyo would love Formula One. But, of course, this is just a dream.
Q: If you could choose one former world champion as your team mate, who would you choose and why?
KK: Ayrton Senna. And not because I think I could learn from him, but because he is the most memorable Formula One champion ever. And, of course, it would be interesting to see what I could do compared to him
Q: Formula One innovations of the past - ground effect, active suspension, turbocharging, six wheels, the list goes on. If you could bring back one past innovation, what would it be and why?
KK: A powerful engine. The V12 - or why not a V20! (laughs) An engine with a powerful roar.
Q: What innovations would you like to see in the future?
KK: I think we should listen to what fans like. Its also their sport and I think with the changes that have been done - making it easier to overtake - the fans appreciate this very much, as races have become much more exciting. And of course you need to keep the sound. A good roar makes for about half the excitement.
Q: You can only drive at one circuit for the rest of your life - which circuit, past or present from anywhere in the world, do you choose?
KK: I definitely would be drawn to either Spa or Suzuka, but as the weather in Spa is pretty hard to take I would prefer Suzuka.
Q: Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Tyrrell, March are just some of the teams that have departed the sport. Which former team would you most liked to have raced with and why?
KK: Brabham. I would like to see Bernie Ecclestone as a team principal. (laughs)
Q: You have to design a new F1 circuit, combining all your favourite corners from other tracks around the world. Which three corners are top of your list and why?
KK: The fast Suzuka S, Turn Eight from Istanbul, and Silverstones Becketts. That would make quite an exciting track with almost no braking
Q: You can travel back in time and compete in any decade of Formula One racing, from the 1950s to the 1990s. Which decade would you choose and why?
KK: I would pick the Ayrton Senna/Alain Prost era. I think racing back then was the most exciting - two equally fast drivers relying on completely different philosophies. And the reliability was so poor that many times you wouldnt know who was going to win the race until the very last lap! (laughs)
Q: If you could pick two Formula One greats of the past (from different eras) to watch race against each other, who would you pick?
KK: I would like to see Fernando Alonso racing against Senna. I think they would also make a very interesting team-mate pairing.
Q: If you were a team boss, which current driver would you pick first for your team (excluding yourself and your current team mate)?
KK: Lewis Hamilton
Q: Just 19 of the worlds motor racing circuits feature on the current F1 calendar. You can add one more. Which circuit do you pick and why?
KK: I want Magny-Cours back. The track is fantastic, but unfortunately it is in the middle of nowhere
Q: You are having a dinner party and can invite four people from the world of motorsport, past or present. Who do you invite?
KK: Nobody. I would want to keep it a private affair - go to dinner with my girlfriend
Q: You are given the chance to drive any legendary Formula One car of the past (excluding those made by your own team). Which car would you choose?
KK: I dont have a particular interest in old cars. I like the cars I have personally driven so far.
Q: Rooftop swimming pool, bowling alley, revolving sushi bar - just some of the features most F1 motorhomes dont possess. If you could add one thing to your teams motorhome, what would it be?
KK: A pool bar and a disco. During the day it would be a pool and in the evening it could turn into a disco.
Q: Imagine you have just won the world title. Where would you go for your celebratory meal and what would choose from the menu?
KK: Tokyo - Roppongi - with all my friends and wed order everything on the menu over the course of a whole week! (laughs)
For tickets and travel to 2011 Formula One races, click here.
For Formula One and F1 team merchandise, click here.