F1 World Shocked by Tsunami, Earthquake Tragedy in Japan

The recent earthquake and tsunami that has hit the north-eastern region of Japan last week shocked the entire world, and Formula 1 made no exception from that rule. Even though no F1 figure has been personally affected by the tragic events, the entire paddock has expressed shock and sadness of what the Japanese people are going through right now.

Needless to say, the most affected person in the F1 paddock is Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi, whose family lives in Amagasaki, near Kobe (in the Hyogo Prefecture) a region that was not hit by the tsunami as hard as the Miyagi and Fukishima prefectures were.

My country has suffered an enormous catastrophe. The news is depressing and I'm very sad,” said the 24-year old driver.

Another Japanese figure that has been quite common in the F1 paddock in recent years is that of Jenson Button's girlfriend Jessica Michibata. Asked about how she is taking all of this, the 2009 F1 champion told the media: “She's fine, very shaken.” Michibata is currently modeling in Tokyo, some 250 miles away from the tsunami-struck zone.

Our hearts and minds go out to the people of Japan, who are great supporters of our sport,” was the message from Mercedes GP's Ross Brawn to the Japanese people, while Heikki Kovalainen, who is currently working with a Japanese engineer, showed his support via Twitter.

It's like it's unreal but it's not,” he wrote. “I have a lot of Japanese fans and I sincerely hope they are all okay.”

Watching the latest reports coming from Japan, where the death toll keeps on rising and some nuclear plants are also affected by the disaster, Ferrari-an Fernando Alonso agrees that Formula 1 is the least important thing at the moment, if one has to put things into perspectives.

Formula One and all its problems is way down the list of priorities,” said the Spaniard.
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