Kamui Kobayashi has revealed that he thought he was about to be offered of a full-time race contract for the 2010 season, only to discover that on his way to the meeting in question, Toyota would be pulling out of Formula 1.
After making his debut in Brazil, Kobayashi impressed everyone by finishing the race at Interlagos ninth before going on to score three World Championship points in Abu Dhabi only a fortnight later.
To say Toyota’s withdrawal was a kick in the teeth for Kamui would be putting it mildly!
"I had a meeting with the team at night, the day before I heard Toyota was quitting F1," said Kamui at Fuji Speedway, scene of last weekend’s Toyota Motor Sports Festival. "I thought I could be a 2010 race driver and went to the meeting but the team told me that there was a possibility of pulling out of Formula 1.
"They said that the pull-out wasn’t officially decided, and that there was a chance of staying in F1, but also said not to be surprised should an announcement be made the following morning; when I woke up next morning, my Manager told me that the team had indeed decided to pull out of F1 – I was really shocked."
Having seemingly seen a race seat plucked from his grasp, Kamui revealed that he is in the wilderness with regards to 2010. "For next year, I think my Manager has been talking other teams but, to be honest, I want to take a break now," he added. "It’s difficult for me to do something without signing for another team, so I will leave it to my Manager and want to have a break. I will go back to Europe in December to speak about the upcoming season. So, for now, I don’t know what will happen for next year."