Kamui Kobayashi joins Sauber for 2010

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Kamui Kobayashi impressed in his second race for Toyota at Abu Dhabi
Kamui Kobayashi impressed in his second race for Toyota at Abu Dhabi

Kamui Kobayashi will stay in F1 after being signed by Peter Sauber’s team for 2010.

The Japanese driver’s F1 career was in doubt after Toyota, who backed his career for many years and gave him his F1 break, pulled out of the sport.

Peter Sauber said Kobayashi’s performances at Interlagos and Yas Island has played a big role in his decision to add him to his 2010 F1 driver line-up:

I?m very much looking forward to working together with Kamui. In the final two Grand 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.
Peter Sauber

It’s not clear whether Kobayashi has brought any sponsorship with him as part of the deal.

The deal means F1 will have at least one Japanese driver next year despite Kazuki Nakajima losing his seat with Williams and Takuma Sato failing to land a drive with Lotus.

Kobayashi said he was proud to be carrying on in Formula 1:

Ever since the start of my career I have dreamed of racing in Formula One. 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.
Kamui Kobayashi

Sauber press release:

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Kamui Kobayashi joins Sauber

Image (C) Toyota F1 World

70 comments on “Kamui Kobayashi joins Sauber for 2010”

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  1. Glad Peter Sauber agrees that Kobayashi’s performance at Interlagos & Abu Dhabi was impressive enough to earn a seat. Be a shame to see a talent like that working in a sushi restaurant.If he brings no sponsor, I doubt Sauber will have problem attracting one, if they know anything about F1.

    1. before he picked up a seat, i read somewhere that he has no sponsors, no money, no backing at all, hence next year if he doesnt get a seat he’ll be working at his dad’s sushi restaurant. no money to go racing in any category.

    2. I was going to be amazed if he wasn’t picked up. He was a rookie that performed like a veteran.

  2. Hooray, is all I can say. :D

    1. +1
      This guy has talent…!

    2. Totally agreed. This is great news! He will probably even have a better chance at being competitive with Sauber-Ferrari than he would have had with Toyota…

  3. Does that mean that the team will be:

    Panasonic Sauber Ferrari?

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      17th December 2009, 10:18

      I don’t think so – Panasonic’s involvement it unclear, and I honestly think it was exaggerated by people who wanted to see Kobayashi get a drive.

        1. Wouldn’t be so sure tho PM is right that it’s unclear. Joe Saward and James Allen seem to agree Panasonic are involved, I’m sure we’ll find out soon.

    2. More likely Sauber-Toyota. It wouldn’t cost them too much to rebuild the engines from this year and supply them to Sauber.

  4. The deal means F1 will have at least one F1 driver next year despite Kazuki Nakajima

    do you mean at least one Japanese F1 driver. otherwise it is going to be very much a one horse race so to speak…!

    1. Sorry – fixed it!

      1. Hi Keith,

        Good to see Sauber staying in F1 and also that they’ve signed up a promising talent in Kamui. But I do have a doubt–> Are they going to stick with BMW engines or are they going for Cosworth??

        I didn’t happen to see any mention of this anywhere. Has it been announced??

        1. Myles Woerner
          18th December 2009, 5:48

          Bud, it was announced about 2 months ago that Sauber would be using Ferrari engines if they received a grid slot.

          1. They can change their mind any time they like.Probably 2 nanoseconds after KK’s manager offered them a balls out racing driver with a truck load of free F1 Toyota motors!

  5. As long as the car he will be driving is up to scratch I hope we get to see more of the two performances he managed to pull off this year.

  6. F1 will have at least Japanese ? driver

  7. F1 will have at least one Japanese ? driver

    1. Myles Woerner
      18th December 2009, 2:33

      Uhh, yeah, he’s Japanese

  8. Good to see a Japanese driver with lots of promise. I know he only had 2 races but he did not look out of place. It is also important for the sport and sponsors to have a driver from Japan. Lets hope in time he can prove he’s got it.

  9. Nice to see Kobayashi has secured a seat for next year, he showed promise in his first two Grand Prix even if his career before that wasn’t as spectacular as some other drivers.

  10. I’m really pleased with this news, I was hoping he would find a seat, he will be in good hands with Sauber.

    His aggressive performances last season were great to watch, I just hope it wasn’t all down to having nothing to loose, and he doesn’t tighten up over a whole season!

    I have to say, with all the driver movement, new teams and rule changes, I am more excited for next season than I have been in a very long time! Bring on 2010!

  11. Wow, great news!
    I’m a fan of him.

  12. it would of been a crime against humanity if kobayashi did not get a drive in the 2010 f1 season. good decision by peter sauber, a true racing team manager.

    1. Yes peter sauber is a racer and its nice to hear his name being thrown around again

  13. Good call, Mr Sauber. That could be a fast car, the BMW was surprisingly good at the end of 09 for a team that was pulling out.

    Why’s it still BMW Sauber in the press release?

    1. Maybe they haven’t got around to printing up new logos and whatnot for the re-Sauber’d team. Great news to see Koby back again. I’m thinking Heidfeld may be his partner next season, what with the second Merc seat seemingly having Schumacher’s bum-prints all over it.

  14. Fantastic news. I was very impressed by Kamui’s perfomance at Abu Dhabi. The guy is a true racer! Him taking on Jenson like that! That was awesome. 2010 is going to be exciting. Can hardly wait.

  15. I just wonder if he keeps it up. Nakajima perfomed resonably similar in his first 2 races.

    Anwyay, good that he gets the chance.

  16. 2010 is a year of the tiger and i wanna see him in a battle with schumacher, alonso and hamilton

    1. Let’s not forget Vettel. I’m curious to see how Kobayashi will do. He’s a tremendous talent, that’s something he showed in the toyota last year. But how good is he at the car set-up? Will he equal the likes of Alonso and Vettel? We’ll have to wait and see. I also wonder if he’s able to match Hülkenberg in F1. He got destroyed by the young German in GP2. Anyway, very happy to see him back in F1! The guy clearly has a very attractive driving style!

  17. 2010 is also a Year of the Tiger and Rabbit in the Chinese Calendar.

    Lets hope Kobayashi’s performance is not the latter… =)

  18. Good, good. Peter Sauber has strange powers when it comes to choosing his drivers. Go Kamui!

  19. Just read this just now… Wooohooooo!!!
    Fantastic, so chuffed for him. I guess that Panasonic money must have helped somewhat. Can’t wait for the racing to start! :D

  20. Yes 2009 was hardly the year of the tiger was it !

    At last a Japanese driver there on merit. I just hope he keeps his gung ho attitude, too many gun slingers come into f1 and get finger wagged to death if they dare to move in the braking zone or shut the door on someone.

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