The auction of Kamui Kobayashi's Linkin Park-inspired crash helmet has raised a substantial amount of money for those affected by both last year's Japanese earthquake and other natural disasters.

The Sauber driver wore the specially-designed helmet in last year's Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos [see story here], before offering it up for auction on behalf of internationally renowned charity organisation Music for Relief, itself initiated by rock band Linkin Park. The helmet was personally designed by singer Joe Hahn, who met Kobayashi during the Singapore GP weekend and hit upon the idea of coming up with a one-off item that could then be sold to raise funds. The singer also signed the helmet.

The online auction ran until just before Christmas and eventually reached $19,000, most of which will be channelled to the Japanese relief effort through championed by Kobayashi since the start of the 2011 F1 season. The sum adds to the $700,000 already donated to those dealing with the consequences of the disasters that struck on 11 March, and to the $5m+ raised by Music for Relief for disaster victims and environmental projects around the world since its inception in 2005.

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