Kobayashi felt water in car after Okayama clash
Kamui Kobayashi has revealed that an incident in last weekend’s Super Formula race at Okayama allowed water to seep inside his car.
Kobayashi was immediately on the move when the race resumed after a prolonged red flag, making several attempts at passing pole-sitter Yuhi Sekiguchi.
At the Hobbs right-hander, Kobayashi slammed into the back of Sekiguchi, leaving a big hole in the nosecone and a piece of carbon fibre flickering violently.
With rain pouring down heavily, the Toyota LMP1 star said he could feel water entering inside the cockpit and touching his feet.
"I don’t know effect of the damage of the nose because I did not see the data,” Kobayashi said.
“After breakage, I felt colder in my legs. The water entered and I was able to do very good cooling.
“The front wing was flickering, it was an eyesore. But basically it did not have much of an adverse effect."
Despite a damaged nose cone that was not replaced during the race, Kobayashi managed to pass Sekiguchi on the same lap and then stretch out a seven-second gap.
A safety car nullified his advantage and a subsequent mistake at the hairpin handed the lead back to Sekiguchi, who went on to secure victory.
While Kobayashi accepted blame for the error, he felt that it’s only a matter of time that he scores his first Super Formula win since joining the series in 2015.
"I was thinking about the win. But I thought the pace after restart that will be tough. So at first I pushed, but I made mistake and got overtaken by Yuhi,” Kobayashi explained.
“I was looking for the chance after that, but unfortunately the safety car came out. So I could not chase him."
He added: "For both the team and me it was our first chance to win in Super Formula. But unfortunately, I lost the win in this way."
"But we had good enough pace. I missed the previous race, because I was racing in WEC, but the fact that I could lead the race gave me a lot of confidence.
"If I can continue to do like this, I am thinking that I will be able to win someday."
Additional reporting by Etsuko Aoyama
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