Kamui Kobayashi will substitute for injured Toyota Formula 1 pilot Timo Glock at Abu Dhabi this weekend. Glock is still recovering from a cracked vertebra sustained during the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka four weeks ago.
Kobayashi substituted for Glock at the Brazilian Grand Prix, and impressed most observers with his canny racing style on an unfamiliar track. Not everyone was impressed, however. Jenson Button, for one, accused the Japanese driver of weaving in the braking zones while Button was trying to pass him. However, the stewards apparently did not find fault with Kobayashi, and one suspects that Button’s frustration stemmed primarily from being his held up by a surprisingly game rookie at a time when Button was trying to secure enough points to clinch the world title. In the end, Button won the both the needed points and the championship, and nothing more was heard about Kobayashi’s supposed blocking.
If Kobayashi produces another impressive performance in Abu Dhabi this weekend, one can assume that he might get a chance at a full-time race seat with Toyota in 2010. According to rumor, both of Toytota’s current pilots, Glock and Jarno Trulli, are in danger of losing their seats next year. Toyota has already made public the fact that they offered one of those seats to Kimi Raikkonen, but when the Finn’s manager demanded 25 million euros for Raikkonen’s services, Toytota’s motorsport president said, in effect, thanks, but no thanks.
Regarding Timo Glock’s situation, as reported in The Guardian, Howettt said, “We feel genuinely sorry for Timo that his season, which has included two impressive podium finishes, is ending in this way. Having discussed the medical advice with Timo and his management, the team has decided to take no risk and to put Kamui in the car. Kamui performed well in Brazil in difficult circumstances, so we are happy to ask him to again deputise.”
Howett made no mention of Glock’s rejoining the team in 2010, and the way this year’s silly season is progressing, it appears that Toyota’s line-up for 2010, like that of several other teams, won’t be announced until the winter off-season. Perhaps Toyota’s announcement will include the name Kobayashi.
Image by Morio, licensed through Creative Commons.