This happened a little quicker than anticipated!
Kamui Kobayashi has been confirmed at Sauber ahead of the 2010 season.
The signing marks the first full-time drive in Formula 1 for the Japanese driver following his impressive stand-in for Toyota and the first for the Hinwil team since it was bought back from BMW by former owner Peter Sauber.
Following his impressive results at Interlagos and Yas Marina, a Toyota drive in 2010 looked a certainty for the 23-year-old until the manufacturer withdrew its Formula 1 team only three days after the season’s final race.
"Ever since the start of my career, I have dreamed of racing in Formula 1," said Kobayashi, GP2 Asia Series Champion of 2008-2009. "Now this dream has come true. I am very happy that my two races of 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 1."
"I’m very much looking forward to working together with Kamui," added Team Principal Peter Sauber. "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."
We were lamenting the possible loss of Kobayashi from the 2010 grid in our last post, so this is great news!