Tag Archives: McLaren

Kobayashi: I’m now a true F1 driver

9 Oct

Kamui Kobayashi now regards himself as a fully-fledged Formula One driver, having secured his maiden podium finish on home soil at Suzuka in front of an impassioned Japanese crowd.

Once again, Kobayashi pulled off a sensational qualifying performance and lined-up third – he was promoted one place following a five-place grid drop for McLaren’s Jenson Button – for Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix on the tight and twisty Suzuka circuit.

However, in contrast to previous races, the 26-year old managed to stay out of trouble, avoiding the first-corner chaos to convert his qualifying result into third place, seeing off a challenge in the final seven laps from a charging Button.

Kobayashi said: “I’ve always felt that if you ever want to look back and regard yourself as a Formula One driver, you have to have been on the podium at least once. Without such a photo it’s a bit as if you had never been there, so it means a lot to me.

“I had a couple of chances earlier in the season but missed them due to bad luck. I knew that the potential was there and this time it all went smoothly.”

The result lifted a great deal of pressure from Kobayashi’s shoulders after facing a lot of speculation about his future with Sauber. And the Japanese racer is more determined than ever to help the Hinwii-based team achieve fifth place in the constructors’ championship.

“I instantly relaxed when all the pressure came off,” said Kobayashi. “Without doubt it was a very important race for me in my career. And I felt: yes, now we will be having more strong races and really go for fifth place in the constructors’ championship.”

GP Week – Issue 170 (Japanese Grand Prix)

8 Oct

Another issue of GP Week in the bag.

Hamilton signs three-year deal with Mercedes

28 Sep

It has been confirmed that Lewis Hamilton has signed a three-year deal to race for the Mercedes AMG Petronas team from 2013 onwards.

Earlier today (Friday 28 September), McLaren revealed that Sergio Perez will replace Hamilton as of next season, ending weeks of speculation about the Briton’s future.

The 2008 world champion has been driving for the Woking-based team since first entering Formula One in 2007, but has decided it’s time for “a fresh challenge” and will race alongside his former karting team-mate Nico Rosberg who will contest his fourth consecutive season with the Silver Arrows squad in 2013.

“It is now time for me to take on a fresh challenge and I am very excited to begin a new chapter racing for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team,” said Hamilton.

“Mercedes-Benz has such an incredible heritage in motorsport, along with a passion for winning which I share. Together, we can grow and rise to this new challenge. I believe that I can help steer the Silver Arrows to the top and achieve our joint ambitions of winning the world championships.”

Mercedes team principal, Ross Brawn, added: “I am delighted to welcome Lewis Hamilton to our team. The arrival of a driver of Lewis’s calibre is a testament to the standing of Mercedes-Benz in Formula One and I am proud that Lewis shares our vision and ambition for the success of the Silver Arrows.

“I believe that the combination of Lewis and Nico will be the most dynamic and exciting pairing on the grid next year, and I am looking forward to what we can achieve together.”