A host of drivers and key figures in Formula 1 have shown their support to the victims of this year’s Japanese earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country’s east coast, leaving over 20,000 people dead or missing.
Led by Sauber driver Kamui Kobayashi, many drivers have come up with novel ways to raise money in support of the natural disaster’s victims.
Along with Kobayashi, the likes of Vitantonio Liuzzi, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button and Jarno Trulli are wearing customised helmet designs – Liuzzi and Button have already confirmed they will be donating their helmets and forward all funds raised to the relief effort.
Many items being worn by McLaren pair Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton will be auctioned for charity, including Button’s red-and-white racing helmet.
Paintings of the grid’s five World Champions will also be put up for auction.
And full credit to Kobayashi, who has been the leading figure behind the sport’s support for the region. The Sauber driver has arranged for a choir from the affected region to sing the national anthem before the race, and he has personally covered their transport, ticket and accommodation expenses – over 30 families in total.
Even F1 supremo Bernie has joined the act, with the 80-year-old buying some 3,000 tickets for this weekend’s race (at an average price of ¥35,000) to give to people who have suffered through the disaster. All up, his investment is worth some £1 million.
He has also authorised a hand puppet in his likeness be commissioned for sale to raise money for the relief effort, which we think looks pretty cool!