Plus, there’s absolutely nothing to suggest Kobayashi is anywhere near Force India’s shortlist. It makes as much sense / takes as much effort as linking Kovalainen or Petrov or whoever else to that seat.
Not to play the devil’s advocate, but drivers have been signed to teams they weren’t linked to during the silly season before. Granted, usually that goes for backmarkers, but I’m not too sure about Force India being a very financially stable outfit right now (personal opinion). Kobayashi might be interesting as he has some money and has shown in his two seasons with Perez he’s no joke. Of course, Japanese companies aren’t lining up to sponsor him due to their economy, but he is a popular driver who might help polish their name in Asia. Kovalainen has no sponsors and Petrov couldn’t out-bid van der Garde, probably because his sponsors were retreating. I’m not sure how seriously Kobayashi is rumored to join FI, but we’ve seen drivers do 180s on their position in F1 before.
It’s a interesting picture/fact. Why? Only one driver from generation 2000 driving today. Jenson Button. Other interesting fact is there’s no more drivers from the ’90-s driving today in F1.
I was thinking about this the other day, I have a lot of F1 magazines dated between 1998 and 2003 and I remember they universally panned Button prior to his first Grand Prix even. It’s odd for me to think that rookie, who was much too young for F1, etc, is now the most experienced guy on the grid.