Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

The Inside Line - on Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi 02 Oct 2012

Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 9 September 2012 Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber C31.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice, Monza, Italy, Friday, 7 September 2012 Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber C31.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice, Monza, Italy, Friday, 7 September 2012 Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber signs autographs for the fans.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Preparations, Monza, Italy, Thursday, 6 September 2012 Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 1 September 2012 Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber C31.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, 28 July 2012 Peter Sauber (SUI) Sauber F1 Team Principal and Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, 28 July 2012 Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber.
Formula One World Championship, Rd9, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 6 July 2012

Ever since he burst onto the Formula One scene back in 2009 as a stand-in for Timo Glock at Toyota, Kamui Kobayashi has been wowing F1 audiences with his derring-do attitude on track. But what makes Kobayashi tick outside of the cockpit? Turns out the Sauber driver is just as unpredictable off track. The Japanese star discusses his desire to learn more languages, his difficult relationship with carrots and his surprisingly small wardrobe…

Q: What keeps you awake at night?
Kamui Kobayashi:
I am good sleeper. The moment I am in bed and close my eyes I am gone and on the way to dreamland. (laughs) Then it is pretty difficult to wake me up again!

Q If you could banish one thing from your life - for the rest of your life - what would that be?
KK:
I am pretty happy all round. But hey, yes, if I could banish ever being involved in a race crash again then that would be fantastic. I hate it if damage is done to my car.

Q: What’s been your most valuable life lesson?
KK:
I haven’t had any yet. But I want somebody to teach me about the economy. Globally we hear all the countries lamenting that they haven’t got any money. How did it get so bad? That would be the ultimate life lesson for all of us.

Q: What do you admire?
KK:
People getting involved - in charity, in teaching, in being there for those in need.

Q: If you could give your younger self some advice what would it be?
KK:
Try to study a bit more. Learn a couple more languages so I could be fluent in Italian or French.

Q: If your racing career ended after this season what would you do with the rest of your life?
KK:
I have no idea. At the moment I am still trying make an impression in Formula One! (laughs)

Q: What animal best reflects your personality?
KK:
How would I know? Probably a tiger?

Q: What is more important than winning?
KK:
Winning is everything.

Q: What would you spend your last dollar on?
KK:
I would use it as a down payment on a flight back to Japan.

Q: What is your biggest weakness?
KK:
I don’t like carrots. When I was a kid I always got told that they are healthy, but it didn’t matter at all. I hated them.

Q: What’s your ultimate comfort food?
KK:
Any kind of Japanese food.

Q: What’s the first thing you do when you get home after a race?
KK:
I wash my clothes. I don’t have a huge selection of clothes so whenever I get home I immediately wash my clothes. Sometimes I then have nothing for the day after. (laughs)

Q: What scares you?
KK:
Earthquakes.

Q: What’s your favourite smell?
KK:
The smell of women

Q: What’s the best advice you have been given?
KK:
It’s not really advice, in fact it’s probably the contrary, but if somebody tells me that you don’t need to do something then I do it.

Q: Are you the man you always thought you would become?
KK:
I am still in the middle of that process. I want to know so many more things, not just in terms of racing. I want to understand a lot more things than I know now. One day I want to build a house or repair an old house all by myself.

Q: What tastes like home?
KK:
I left home at too young an age so it’s difficult to say. I tend to connect home to a smell rather than to a taste. It is a rather unspecific smell, but whenever I smell it it reminds me of home.

Q: When were you happiest?
KK:
Ah, it is a recurring situation… every holiday.

Q: If you had to stay in one place for the rest of your life, where would you choose?
KK:
A place in Japan. Right now I would choose Tokyo.

For tickets and travel to 2012 FORMULA 1 races, click here.
For FORMULA 1 and F1 team merchandise, click here.