A test driver turned racer, Kobayashi drove in great style for two races until Toyota quit F1. He’s back for 2010, driving for new team Sauber.
Perhaps the most entertaining moment in the tail end of this year’s Formula One season was the appearance of Kamui Kobayashi at the Brazilian Grand Prix. A Toyota test driver, Kobayashi found himself in a racing seat after Toyota driver Timo Glock’s injury. To say he made the most of it would be the understatement of the season. He drove that lackluster Toyota like a Romantic dueler, getting into brawls with Jenson Button, who was driving his Brawn for the world title.
Koyabashi would repeat the performance at the season’s last race in Abu Dhabi, only to then see the mothership disintegrate: after eight very expensive seasons which produced zero race wins, Toyota pulled the plug on its F1 effort in tears. They were not the most inspiring team, but their departure left the sport’s dazzling newbie without a drive.
Until now. Peter Sauber, who acquired his old team from BMW who’d decided to quit in July, has signed him on for the 2010 season. Probably the greatest news for those of us who like our racing with a bit of pizzazz. And nobody does pizzazz like this 23-year-old from Amagasaki.
Photo Credit: MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images, Clive Mason/Getty Images