Formula One team Sauber have signed up Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi for the 2010 season. The 23-year-old impressed last year with a ninth and a sixth position finish in the two Grand Prix races he participated in.
AFP - Japanese Formula One driver Kamui Kobayashi was on Thursday signed up to drive for the Sauber team, a move that has put on hold his intended plan to return to work for his father's sushi restaurant.
The 23-year-old appeared certain to be handed a drive for Toyota in 2010 after performing well when replacing the injured Timo Glock in Brazil and Abu Dhabi last season.
But with Toyota's decision to quit the sport his future in F1 looked bleak, until Thursday when he was confirmed as one of Sauber's drivers.
Team owner Peter Sauber said in a statement: "In the final two grands prix of last season he was granted an unexpected chance to show his skills, and he made impressive use of it.
"Particularly in the Abu Dhabi race he demonstrated not only that he can drive fast and aggressively, but also his ability to successfully implement a strategy.
"I am convinced he has a great deal of potential and will be able to make the most of it in our team."
Kobayashi, who has previously competed in Formula Renault, Formula Three Euro Series, GP2 and GP2 Asia, winning the latter title last year, is thrilled at landing the job.
"Ever since the start of my career I have dreamed of racing in Formula One," said Kobayashi.
"Now this dream has come true. I am very happy that my two races in 2009 have earned me a cockpit place.
"I will do my very best for Peter Sauber's team, and I am proud to be able to carry on flying the Japanese flag in Formula One."
Sauber are filling Toyota's place on the grid next year.
Date created : 2009-12-17