Tonio Liuzzi and Jenson Button are amongst the drivers who will join Kamui Kobayashi in showing support for the people of Japan during this weekends race at Suzuka, with the pair agreeing to auction off their helmets following the weekend.
Liuzzi is to wear a special edition helmet for the race, with the design being titled 'Embracing Japan'. The base of the helmet is white, as a tribute to the Japanese flag while there will be no excessive colour or design as a sign of purity and respect towards the Japanese people.
A red circle, which symbolises the rising sun, appears on the right and left flanks of the helmet with two hands, and in the middle the writing 'We are here with you' is engraved in gold.
After the event, Liuzzi will sign the helmet which will then be donated to 'Save Japan' to be auctioned off to raise funds for the Japanese Red Cross.
“The earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan earlier this year was terribly shocking but this country proved once again how strong they are,” he said. “While the country is yet rebuilding itself and the consequences of the disaster are still visible, we shouldn't forget about them.
“Motorsport and Japan has a really close relationship and it is good to be back here and show our support. I also wanted to do my bit and, together with my helmet brand and designer, we prepared a special and very beautiful one that I will use only this weekend. On Sunday, after the race, I'll donate it to the 'Save Japan' foundation for them to auction it. They are doing a fantastic job and I hope to modestly contribute to the cause.”
McLaren ace Button, who first raced in Japan as a 16-year-old while still in karting and has strong links with the Japanese people from his time with Honda, will also auction off his helmet following the weekend to raise funds for charities helping those affected by the earthquake and tsunami back in March.
“Obviously we've seen a couple of big disasters this year in Japan, and we've seen how strong the Japanese people are, and how they've really pulled together when they are in difficulty,” he said. “I think we can all learn something from them, and we should, and try to help out as much as we can. Kamui is doing a lot this weekend, and I'm sure quite a few of the drivers are. We are always going to try our best. Is it enough? I don't know.
“My crash helmet is very similar to what I had in Monaco, so it's all in Japanese, and I will be auctioning it off after the race, which will go to a Japanese charity which will help the people that have been affected by the tsunami and the earthquake.”
Kobayashi will welcome a number of people from one of the areas worst hit by March's disaster to be his personal guests for race day.