Kamui Kobayashi joins Sauber for 2010

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

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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.

    • 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.

    • dlaird said on 16th January 2010, 22:27

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

  2. Stealthman said on 17th December 2009, 9:48

    Hooray, is all I can say. :D

  3. GeeMac said on 17th December 2009, 9:49

    Does that mean that the team will be:

    Panasonic Sauber Ferrari?

    • Prisoner Monkeys said on 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.

    • 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…!

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 17th December 2009, 9:55

      Sorry – fixed it!

      • Anoop said on 18th December 2009, 3:25

        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??

        • Myles Woerner said on 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.

          • 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!

    • sato113 said on 17th December 2009, 14:48

      LOL!!! :D

  5. TMFOX said on 17th December 2009, 9:51

    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. manatcna said on 17th December 2009, 9:51

    F1 will have at least Japanese ? driver

  7. manatcna said on 17th December 2009, 9:51

    F1 will have at least one Japanese ? driver

  8. rampante said on 17th December 2009, 9:52

    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. Invoke said on 17th December 2009, 10:33

    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.

  13. Bullfrog said on 17th December 2009, 10:40

    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?

    • ajokay said on 17th December 2009, 12:50

      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. Thandi said on 17th December 2009, 10:44

    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. Patrickl said on 17th December 2009, 10:54

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

    Anwyay, good that he gets the chance.

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