Toyota team driver Kamui Kobayashi will fill in for the injured Timo Glock in this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix. It will be the Japanese driver's race debut, after briefly substituting for the German during practice in Japan earlier last month.
Q. At least you got a bit more warning that you would be in the car here than in Japan. Are you raring to go?
Kamui Kobayashi: We have definitely had enough time to prepare – more than one week. That is better than last time in Suzuka, because we did not have enough time to prepare. We worked really a lot to confirm everything to do the race, this week.
Q. Do you feel more prepared for this weekend having done the Friday at Suzuka?
KK: Yeah of course. I think last time it was a really good experience, because we had only 22 laps, which was only a few, but for this week with that experience we can improve some points and we can work better in that way. We don't start totally from the beginning, which is good for me.
Q. Have you driven this track on a simulator or a video game?
KK: Well, maybe I have had experience with a video game, but it is not really useful for me. You just can remember left and right, but the car is definitely completely different to me. I really have to start from scratch. I have no experience, and I have to improve step-by-step just to gain mileage, and we will see. The track conditions will be difficult as the forecast is unstable at the moment. It will be a difficult weekend but I will try to do my best.
Q. When was the last time you drove an F1 car in the dry?
KK: I think in February. But there is a lot of updates on the car, so quite a big difference.
Q. So what is your expectation from the weekend – is it just to get to the finish?
KK: Yeah, to get points will be a very good job I think. When I think of Giancarlo, Liuzzi and Grosjean came into the car in the middle of the season and it was really difficult, so if I can score points in the first race – I know it will be difficult. But this is for a me a really good step, and I hope to do a really good job for the team as well.
Q. Are you viewing this weekend as a showcase for next year?
KK: I really don't think about next year. I just have this chance and I want to use this chance to show my performance. This is really my goal. I don't want to think about next year at the moment.
Q. But it gives you a chance to show what you can do, because GP2 was quite a difficult campaign for you this year?
KK: Yes, it was a difficult end of season. The beginning was okay, but the end of the season was tough. Now I have to forget that and I have to start with a new mind, which is to have a good experience with F1. I have spent two years as a test driver, which is a good advantage rather than coming from zero. So I have to give a good performance this weekend.
Q. How hard will it be on your neck this weekend with an anti-clockwise track?
KK: I don't know. Everybody says it will be hard, but I never had that experience. In Jerez as well there are some quick left-hand corners, high speed, so I don't think it will be anything special. I have had quite a lot of F1 tests, and in one day have done 120-130 laps in Jerez, and two or three days of that and it was no problems with my neck. I am confident it will be no problem for me.
Q. And what about the F1 discipline - qualifying, pit stops etc?
KK: Yeah. I hope in P1 I can learn everything, so I can use P2 to work on setup more. We don't really have enough time, and the weather forecast is a bit unstable – so it will be difficult. As much as possible I want to learn the car and track.
Q. So this is your biggest motor racing challenge?
KK: Yes. Maybe the biggest challenge of my life as well.
Q. So are you nervous or excited?
KK: Not nervous, it is quite exciting. I want really to start with confidence to do a good job for this week, because confidence is really importance. If you are nervous or whatever, you can make mistakes. I want to be confident and if I need to learn something, I want to learn on the important points. I think everything comes from confidence, and I keep confidence for this week.
Q. Would you prefer it to be wet or dry?
KK: Dry conditions are something really new to me, because I never had an experience with option and prime tire – which is a big difference for me. It is difficult for me to say at the moment, but for me the first session will be OK if the weather is stable.