However, the competitive way in which he achieved his 9th place left everybody open-mouthed. While accused by many for a bit of reckless driving when forcing Kazuki Nakajima out of the track, the Japanese driver fought hard for his position against future world champion Jenson Button and disclosed some great racing skills when passing Ferrari's Giancarlo Fisichella in the closing stages of the race.
Only one position separated Kobayashi from scoring his first ever point in Formula One, which would have really put the Cologne officials under pressure when considering their 2010 drivers lineup.
Even so, the Japanese driver seems to have boosted his chances of making the 2010 grid, as current Toyota drivers Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock are under scrutiny for retaining their drives next year. Given that Howett's “love” for Trulli is close to being dead, Glock is already holding talks with several teams in the F1 paddock and Kimi Raikkonen demands too much money for an F1 seat with Toyota, Kobayashi's chances of making the cut seem higher by the day.
“He did a fairly good job I think. He got past Fisi with a really good overtaking move and did a really good job to defend against Button and retake it a couple of times. Very impressive for a debut. We have to look, but on this performance you have to say you've got to give him serious consideration,” said Toyota president John Howett.