Kobayashi’s Pass on Fernando Alonso Prompted a Frantic Phone Call From Ferrari to Sauber in ’12

Published 04/02/2021, 6:04 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Alpine’s Fernando Alonso arrives at the circuit ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


Kamui Kobayashi graced the Formula One grid from 2007 to the 2012 season. The most memorable moment for him was when he overtook Fernando Alonso at the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2012.

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His overtake made the Ferrari boss call the then Sauber boss, Monisha Kaltenborn to let Alonso through. Alonso was fighting for the championship in 2012 with the Italian team. However, it was Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel who went to win his 3rd Drivers’ Championship in Formula One.

Now Alonso has returned to the grid with Alpine, a team where he won both his world titles. However, his dream comeback didn’t go as planned as he had to retire from the Bahrain Grand Prix due to brake issues.

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Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Alpine’s Fernando Alonso arrives ahead of testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Overtaking Fernando Alonso made the Ferrari boss call Sauber, says Kobayashi

In the latest episode of Beyond The Grid, the Japanese driver said, “As soon as I overtook, Stefano Domenicali messaged Monisha straight away, ‘What are you doing?'”.

Being asked if they had the Ferrari engine, Kobayashi replied, “Yes, and he (Alonso) had the championship.”

Alonso has been out of the sport since 2018. Now embarking on a new chapter with the French team, the Spanish driver hopes to make the most out of this opportunity. In the first race of the season, he didn’t score any points but hopes to bring some in the upcoming race at Imola.

Alonso knows he will give his best in the 2021 season

Speaking to The Race after the Bahrain Grand Prix, he said, “Well, I probably disagree with that, I was not at my 100%, I’m sure of that.

“It was nice, we had a couple of good battles, some of them they were happy ending, some of them they were not because we’d been overtaken.”

Alonso added, “But I need to find more pace from myself, I find more confidence, I need to extract more from the car, from the brakes, execute the start better. It was not too bad but I think there’s a lot of room to improve for my side.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 25, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

“Even the pitstops, I think the guys did an amazing job but my position for example, in the second pitstop was not right, so there’s small things and small mistakes that I keep doing from testing and this first race. Hopefully by race two, three, I can perform better.” He concluded.

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Alpine hope to score their first points in the 2021 season. After failing to finish in the Top-10 as Ocon crossed the line in 13th place and Alonso had to retire from the race.

The French team hopes to have a better result in Italy. What did you think of Alonso’s race in Bahrain? Let us know in the comments below.

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DIVE DEEPER

Fernando Alonso ‘Was Sorry’ After Alpine’s Dismal Bahrain GP Performance: Briatore

about 1 month ago

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Arpit Gomes

322 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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