Following the debuts of Jaime Alguersuari and Romain Grosjean – Luca Badoer cannot be counted, as his 2-race stint with Ferrari was more of a return to the series, rather than a debut – Kobayashi will take the wheel of the TF109 during a Formula One race, at Interlagos, for the first time in career.
Toyota yesterday announced, via a press release, that the leg injury sustained by Glock during the qualifying session of the Japanese Grand Prix was more serious than initially predicted and that the German driver will have to sit the Brazilian event off in order to recuperate fully for the season finale at Abu Dhabi. Under the circumstances, 23-year old Kobayashi will partner F1 veteran Jarno Trulli in the Toyota lineup next weekend, as he is the reserve driver for the Cologne based team.
Kobayashi will not drive a 2010-spec F1 car for the first time in career though, as he took the wheel of the TF109 in Japan, during the practice sessions. He then replaced the same Glock, who was recovering from a cold picked up in Singapore.
“This is an incredible opportunity for me to make my Grand Prix debut but of course it is a pity for Timo as I know how much he was looking forward to getting back to racing. Fortunately for me I had some time in the car on Friday in Suzuka and, even though that was in the wet, it will be very helpful for me this weekend,” said Kobayashi.
“I have never driven at Interlagos before but I know the lay-out from computer games and television so I don't think it will take too long to learn. It's going to be a tough weekend but I feel ready for the challenge and I know the team is supporting me 100%,” added the GP2 driver.
The team is also yet to confirm Glock for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which could mean Kobayashi may be offered another chance to compete for Toyota during the season finale, on November 1st.