Former Japanese Formula 1 driver Kamui Kobayashi has undertaken a Formula 1 test for Ferrari at the Scuderia’s Fiorano test track in a 2010 car, in preparation for a promotional event at Moscow in July. The 26-year-old is currently competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship for Ferrari, following his departure from Formula 1.
The former Sauber and Toyota driver has described his test on Monday as a very special experience, in what was his first outing in Formula 1 machinery since the Brazilian Grand Prix last season with Sauber. After the Japanese driver ran out of money to continue competing in Formula 1 with Sauber towards the end of last season, Kamui Kobayashi landed himself a Ferrari GT drive in the FIA World Endurance Championship. So far he has competed in two races with the marque at Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps, finishing 15th and 17th respectively in a shared drive with Toni Vilander.
“The first feeling was one of great happiness,” explained Kamui Kobayashi. “I raced against this car and I knew how quick it was, so it was very important to get some experience of it. Last year’s race in Brazil was the last time I drove a Formula 1 car and now I am racing in the WEC in a 458 GT and the impressions are completely different. But it wasn’t hard to readapt, because in the past, I’ve driven all sorts of cars and I’m used to change. It will be very nice to drive an F1 car again at this event in Moscow and for me it will be a double debut: the first time at the wheel of a Ferrari F1 car in an event and my first visit to the city.”
The promotional event at Moscow comes only one year before Formula 1 is scheduled to host its first race in Russia, around a street circuit in Sochi. The next event for Kamui Kobayashi in the FIA World Endurance Championship will be the legendary and daunting Le Mans 24 Hours on June 22nd, which will comprise round three of the 2013 season. Kamui Kobayashi’s departure from Formula 1 has left the sport without a Japanese driver, the first time this has occurred since 2001.
Picture Copyright © Ferrari