Kamui Kobayashi to substitute for injured Timo Glock at Toyota in Brazil

Kamui Kobayashi will race for Toyota at Interlagos
Kamui Kobayashi will race for Toyota at Interlagos

Kamui Kobayashi will make his F1 debut in the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos next week for Toyota.

The Japanese driver will substitute for Timo Glock who was injured during qualifying at Suzuka one week ago.

Glock has discovered his injuries were more serious than first thought. In addition to his badly cut leg the team now say he also has a cracked vertebrae.

Glock’s participation in the last race of the season at Abu Dhabi is also in doubt.

Kobayashi stood in for Glock in both Friday practice sessions at Suzuka as Glock was ill. He is the reigning GP2 Asia champion and finished 16th in this year’s GP2 championship for DAMS.

Press release

Panasonic Toyota Racing regrets to announce that Timo Glock will not participate in the Brazilian Grand Prix due to injuries he suffered in qualifying at Suzuka.

Timo was initially diagnosed with only a minor cut to his leg following his accident in qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix, but subsequent medical checks in Germany have revealed a cracked vertebra. Doctors have therefore ruled him out of this weekend’s race.

As announced earlier today at the Motor Sports Japan festival, third driver Kamui Kobayashi will replace Timo at Interlagos. Kamui took part in Friday practice at Suzuka while Timo recovered from illness and acquitted himself well despite difficult conditions.

President John Howett said: “Obviously everyone in the team is very disappointed and feels for Timo; we wish him a very speedy recovery. Based on the initial diagnosis, we fully expected Timo to return in Brazil but unfortunately a different injury has been revealed which prevents that.

“He will remain in Germany to recover and we hope he can recuperate in time for Abu Dhabi, although at this stage the situation is not clear.

“Kamui was the natural choice to step in and he proved in Suzuka that he is capable of holding his own. It is a difficult task for him but he knows the team will give him its complete support and we know he is
motivated to make the most of this unexpected opportunity.”

A decision on Timo’s participation in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be made in due course.

More on Kamui Kobayashi

34 thoughts on “Kamui Kobayashi to substitute for injured Timo Glock at Toyota in Brazil”

  1. Its probably for the best he misses out on the Brazilian GP. I bet the Massa fans will never forget what happened last year despite the fact it wasn’t his fault.

        1. I may be thinking of a different interview, but he mentioned that in the June 2009 edition of F1 Racing magazine. He said:

          ‘For me, it felt like the Brazilian fans understood quicker than the Germans that it wasn’t my fault Felipe lost the championship last year. Most people forgot that when we stayed out on dry tyres, we gave Felipe a chance to win. If we’d changed tyres, we’d have been behind Lewis already.’

  2. Cracked vertebrae? What are the chances of that being fixed for Abu Dhabi? Big shame he won’t race after Singapore which was a terrific performance.

  3. Cracked vertebrae!! He definitely did not sustain that in the crash. So he was probably carrying the injury even before.

    Scary year this has been for drivers.

    Does this year now set a record for maximum number of drivers entered in a season?

    1. Definitely not :) all you need t do is look at seasons in the early 90s. I think in 1991 there were around 45 or so drivers over the course of the entire season.

  4. Feeling very bad for Timo and i personally think he is a very good driver especially when it comes to managing tires and fuel loads and also in the wet.

    But i agree with Toyota that both drivers didn’t match the potential of the car. They both missing to deliver results at Bahrain and Trulli at Spa are big examples. Also several times they qualified much lower than expected especially Glock had Qualifying problem all year.

    All in all i would say they are not at all at the same level as Top drivers like Alonso, who is getting results more than the car deserves and Toyota are looking for these top drivers. Now in the market there are many good drivers and Toyota doesn’t want to miss the opportunity to get a good one. Kubica is gone, maybe they can get Raikkonen. I think Glock should be given another chance and how about Sutil, he is looking very impressive.

  5. Seriously, does anyone think Kobayashi is HALF as good as Trulli or Glock? I will be happy to see him win the race or stick it on pole, but I think its more likely he will be the savior of Fisichella and Algusuri

  6. Too bad for Timo, after a great result in Singapore. :(

    Kobayashi never raced at Interlagos and probably has 2 GP to prove himself; not enough, though.

    He’ll have his name included in the F1 driver’s list as a consolation prize. ;)

  7. How very, very convenient. First Toyota seem set quit F1, then Glock is rumoured to have been sacked. Kobayashi tests instead of Glock (when test drivers never usually get a chance to test these days), then all of a sudden Toyota seem really confident of remaining in F1.

    And now Glock, who seemed okely dokely giving the thumbs up for the cameras at Suzuka, realises he has broke his back. And, what a coincidence, Kobayashi is there to step in for him with his recent experience from Suzuka. But isn’t he Japanese? And aren’t Toyota Japanese? And don’t Japanese companies like Japanese drivers, no matter how rubbish they are (eg Nakajima at Williams, Sato/ Ide/ Yamamoto at Super Aguri, etc)?

    If crashgate has taught me one thing about F1, it’s not to take anything at face value.

  8. Kobayashi was quite impressive at Suzuka I thought…but that might have been the sleep deprivation talking.

    Anyone else think it’s slightly worrying that a cracked vertebrae wasn’t noticed until now?
    Spinal damage would be one of the first things they checked for when he went to hospital in Japan surely.

    Do the FIA do any checks on the drivers before the race weekends?

    1. i totally agree. If the vertebrate was damaged in the german gp last year, then its worrying for all involved if timo had a similair accident that could be the end of his career

        1. Yeah, but even if that was the case wouldn’t you expect them to notice it if they did the proper tests when he went to hospital after the Suzuka crash?

          1. When Ralf Schumacher broke vertebrae in his crash in USA 2004, the receiving hospital didn’t pick it up and simply treated the other stuff (e.g. concussion) as best it could. It was only when Ralf returned to Germany that the back problem was diagnosed.

            I think it would be worthwhile for the FIA medical team to (re)-emphasise the need for back checks to be done after large accidents.

            The FIA do checks on drivers before the race weekend, but only if they have specific concerns on a given driver. Otherwise the drivers and teams are trusted to know whether they are fit to race or not.

  9. maybe there was a bit of deliberate action on glocks behalf in that crash at suzuka?, it was a strange place to crash

    Maybe he was thinking “hmm brazil in a fortnight,… ”

    I know he said that the brazilians understood his actions last year, but i still read a heap of comments about “how glock let hamilton win” or “how much mclaren paid timo”, so i dont think that everyone has realised him position, in fact i know that alot of people still blame him

    1. It’s a strange one. Because there’s no logical reason why Glock would want Hamilton to win the WDC over Massa, and of course he was on a wet track on dry-weather tyres. And Trulli, on the same tyres, did the same lap time at the end of the race – though it’s also worth noting that Timo was about 2sec slower in the final sector than Jarno was.

      I think the end of Brazil 2008 was just “too good to be true,” in the same way as the Jerez 1997 qualifying incident was, so people seek alternative explanations. Fact is that in all probability it was just one of those remarkable things, but you can see why people seek to question it.

    2. I still read a heap of comments about “how glock let hamilton win” or “how much mclaren paid timo”, so i dont think that everyone has realised him position, in fact i know that alot of people still blame him

      Indeed. What’s most frightening is that it’s the stupid people and the biggest fanboys that still delude themselves with that nonsense. These are also the people most likely to actually act out their anger. Dangerous mix.

  10. Do the drivers have to go for mandatory physicals at the beginning of the season? If they don’t, they should. I know they keep in shape during the off season, but what if they are hiding an injury incured during something like decathalon event or a marathon, or mountain bike excursion. Timo could have injured his back doing any type of physica activity and not told anyone.

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