Kamui fans (who isn’t one) will be very chuffed to hear that the awesome overtaking Japanese driver is now to start the grand prix from 7th on the grid, rather than his original 10th position, following a reshuffle by the FIA.

Kamui's happy with that result! credit: sutton-images.com

It’s gone a bit wrong recently with the tyre situation somewhat ruining the final qualifying battle as drivers opt to stay in the pits and save some fresh rubber* for Sunday rather than fight over the top 10 grid slots.

Unlike in Singapore where it was only the Force India drivers that remained in the garage, in Japan, Schumacher, Senna, Petrov and Kobayashi didn’t set times in the final round of qualifying – however, Kobayashi did try to, but then aborted his attempt and so he’s now classified as being ahead of the other three no-time drivers.

Official FIA comment:

But the FIA sporting regulations split those who don’t record a time during qualifying sessions into three categories to determine the grid order. Drivers who attempt to set a time by starting a flying lap are ordered first, followed by drivers who leave their garage but don’t start a flying lap and finally drivers who stay in their garage. Within each group, drivers are then arranged in numerical order.

Unlike Schumacher, Senna and Petrov who didn’t complete qualifying attempts, Kobayashi did start a flying lap which he subsequently aborted. Thus Kobayashi and Schumacher will make up the fourth row in seventh and eighth respectively, while Senna and Petrov will be on the grid’s fifth row in ninth and tenth.

Great news for Kamui, what with this being his home grand prix – if the Sauber has any pace in it, he’s the man to use it and take the fight to the others – podium for Kamui on Sunday?  We can’t rule it out… and his local loyal fans won’t either:

P1 for Kamui - you never know.... credit: sutton-images.com


Adam Le Feuvre

Founder and Team Principal at Badger GP
Been a fan of F1 since the days of 'our Nige'. Enjoys the soap opera as much as the racing. A creative geek, with entrepreneurial tendencies who loves coffee, cycling, mod culture and music. Founded of Badger GP in 2008 to give informative, interesting yet entertaining content about Formula 1.

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  1. Avatar of Graham Moggipaldi

    Glad to hear this. The way Q3 is going we need to either return to more hard wearing tyres (and lose the tyre call strategy excitement) or we need to bring back qualifying only tyres. Biggest problem with that though, seems to be it flying in the face of the new greener F1 image that is trying to be projected.

    Anyway – good to see Kobiyashi placed above the other three, both in the interests of natural justice and in adding a bit of extra spice to the race.

  2. I think its the right thing to do in order to put people off from just staying in the pits but Schumacher made the effort to do his one lap run as he always trs to, but was held up by Hamilton i dont think its fair on him for him to loose his 7th place becuase of another driver being unaware (or not bothered) of cars behind him and causing them to slow down. Either way im glad Kobayashi looks in good shape for his home race

  3. All they have to do is add a rule stating each driver must complete a time in each qualifying section, unless they have car problem. 5 grid penalty at the next race if they don’t.


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