Latest News / Interview

The First Time - with Caterham's Kamui Kobayashi

10 Apr 2014

Kamui Kobayashi has won the hearts of F1 fans around the world with his aggressive driving style and affable personality. In the latest instalment of our series that aims to help you get to know the world’s greatest drivers a little better, we asked Caterham’s Japanese ace to think back and remember some of the ‘firsts’ in his life…

Who was your first hero when you were a child?

Kamui Kobayashi: None! I didn’t have any heroes when I was a kid.

What was the first Grand Prix you can remember watching?

KK: The first race I can remember watching live was the Italian Grand Prix at Monza when I was 15. I was racing that weekend and that was the first F1 race I saw.

How old were you when you first decided you wanted to be an F1 driver?

KK: I wanted to be a racing driver since I was small, but I can’t really remember when I wanted to be in F1.

What colour was your first helmet?

KK: White.

When did you win your first trophy in racing and what did it look like?

KK: It was in my first ever race, in a kart. I can’t remember exactly what the trophy looked like but it was about 30cm tall.

What was the first road car you drove?

KK: It was a Toyota - I can’t remember exactly what sort but it was definitely a Toyota.

Where was the first house you lived in?

KK: It was my parents’ house in Amagasaki.

How nervous were you on your first day of school?

KK: I wasn’t really nervous until a girl sat next to me - then I was nervous!

What was the first meal you ever cooked?

KK: It was probably something with eggs, I’m not too sure though!

What was the first thing you did this morning?

KK: Checked my phone - that’s what I always do!

What was the first thing you did after getting your first seat in F1?

KK: I got on a plane! I was in Japan and had a call from Toyota to say Timo (Glock) may have to pull out of the Brazilian Grand Prix, so I had to fly to Sao Paulo as quickly as possible!

What was the first record you bought?

KK: It was something Japanese I think.

What was the first sport you participated in as a kid?

KK: Swimming, definitely!

When was your first romantic kiss?

KK: When I was 11. I had a girlfriend at school when I was 11, but after we kissed we didn’t talk to each other anymore!

When was the first time you were asked to sign an autograph for a fan?

KK: When I was about 12 or 13 I think, during karting.

When did you first taste champagne?

KK: I think it was when I was about 10, after a win in karts.

Which would you eat first - a piece of fruit or a piece of chocolate?

KK: Fruit. No, chocolate! No, fruit! Both! Yes, both! (laughs)

What was the first word you said as a baby?

KK: Haha! I have no idea!