October 11, 2011
Vettel shows his kizuna in Japan
Taking time out from celebrations following his second F1 world championship victory in Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel took time out to visit Nissan’s global headquarters here in Yokohama yesterday.
One thing that didn’t go unnoticed by Japanese fans was the helmet Vettel wore at Suzuka, which featured the Japanese character kizuna (written as 絆), a symbol of a bond or relationship between people.
In an interview with the Global Media Center (see above) Vettel explained the thinking behind the helmet design:
“Looking back at the beginning of this year, we found ourselves testing in Barcelona in March when the (Japanese) earthquake happened, and then the tsunami came on the east coast of Japan, and it was dreadful to see it. Knowing that we will go there at the end of the year, we were looking forward to – for a country that had such a big hit – to be able to give something back, and there was not a single doubt to come up with something special and kizuna is a sign for friendship; it’s a strong bond for people to stick together in difficult times and I thought it was a good sign to put on my helmet so that everyone can see it. The people here are very passionate about racing. They enjoy racing, so it was a sign to show them in a small matter, as much as we can do, to help them, to show them we are there and we care for them. So it was a special year to come back to Suzuka and we enjoyed it more than ever. Obviously, to decide the championship made it truly special. “
Judging by the reactions from those gathered here yesterday, Vettel, with his speed on the track and equally impressive performances off it, could soon rival greats like Ayrton Senna or Michael Schumacher.
Webmaster, Nissan Global Media Center