Doesn’t he look good in Ferrari red?
Sidelined F1 racer Kamui Kobayashi had his first outing in some Ferrari Formula 1 machinery at the Italian team’s test track at Fiorano.
The former Toyota and Sauber racer has not featured on the 2013 grid after being dropped by Sauber at the end of the 2012 season, despite claiming his maiden podium finish at his home race at Suzuka.
Despite a massive fundraising effort by his fans, Kobayashi was unable to secure one of the few available seats on the F1 grid, but that didn’t stop Ferrari from snaffling him up for their GT team, which competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
As part of his new drive, Kobayashi got behind the wheel of the team’s 2010-spec F10 Grand Prix runner in order to familiarise himself with the car ahead of a planned demonstration run at the Moscow City Racing event on July 21.
Not surprisingly, Kobayashi was thrilled to get back in a Formula 1 cockpit.
“The first feeling was one of great happiness,” he said afterwards.
“I raced against this car and I knew how quick it was, so it was very important to get some experience of it.
“Last year’s race in Brazil was the last time I drove a Formula One car. It wasn’t hard to readapt, because in the past, I’ve driven all sorts of cars and I’m used to change.”
Kobayashi’s next race outing will be at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where he will drive on of Ferrari’s two GT-class Ferrari 458 Italias alongside Toni Vilander and former Grand Prix driver Olivier Beretta.