Kamui Kobayashi made his way through various versions of Formula Renault, including winning the 2005 Formula Renault 2.,0 Eurocup and the 2005 Formula Renault 2.0 Italia, before moving to the Formula Three Euroseries in 2006, alongside team mates Sebastian Vettel, Paul Di Resta and Giedo van der Garde at the ASM team. Kamui finished eighth in the championship, the highest place from a rookie that season.
At the beginning of the 2007 season, Kamui was announced as a test driver for the Toyota Formula One team, and continued racing in the Formula Three Euroseries, where this time he finished fourth in the championship. 2008 saw a move to GP2, where he had his maiden GP2 win in only his second race of the formula, at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain, when former team mate Romain Grosjean was penalised for moving more than once to defend his position.
He went on to win the 2008/09 GP2 Asia championships, racing for the DAMS team, and remained in GP2 for the 2009 season, remaining the Toyota test driver during that time. Kamui had a call up to a Toyota Formula One race seat to test when Timo Glock was injured at the Japanese Grand Prix, but having not been involved in any of the Saturday sessions, was unable to race in the Grand Prix. Glock’s injuries were more serious than first thought, and Kamui made his debut in a Formula One race at the 2009 Brazilian Grand Prix, where his style earned him a soundbite from world champion in waiting Jenson Button that he was “absolutely crazy, very aggressive”. Kamui finished ninth, and followed this up with a sixth place at the last race of the season, Abu Dhabi.
Toyota withdrew from the championships at the end of the 2009 season, and Kamui moved to the Sauber team alongside Pedro de la Rosa, where his best finish in 2010 was a sixth place at Silverstone. In 2011, he remained at Sauber, and was partnered by Sergio Perez. A strong race at Australia later saw Kamui disqualified because of an issue with the rear wing, and the best result of the season for him was a 5th place in Monaco.
The Sauber line up was unchanged for 2012, and Kamui managed his first podium finish, with a third place at the Japanese Grand Prix, his home race.
Sauber announced a 2013 line up of Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez, and Kamui moved to the FIA World Endurance Championships. However, on 21st January 2014, Caterham announced that Kamui would partner rookie Marcus Ericsson for 2014, seeing a welcome return for him to Formula One. It was not a great season for Kamui or for Caterham, who sat out two races because of a lack of money, and may or may not race in 2015, appearing to leave Kamui back outside of the world of Formula One.
Here are some of my photos of Kamui from various events over the years. I hope that you like them.
There is a list of my various galleries of Formula One drivers here.
Kamui Kobayashi at the 2014 German Grand Prix
Kamui Kobayashi at the 2014 British Grand Prix
Kamui Kobayashi in 2014 Winter Testing
2012 British Grand Prix
2012 European Grand Prix
Winter Testing 2012
2011 British Grand Prix
2010 British Grand Prix