Timo Glock’s leg and back injuries are going to sideline him for the final race of the season. Unfortunately, he only has himself to blame since he was reportedly searching for a different track on his ipod when he skidded off the track during qualifying at Suzuka. So, Kamui Kobayashi has been tapped to start his second F1 race this weekend for Toyota.
Toyota was hopeful that Glock would be able to return this weekend for the inaugural Yas Marina night race, but have decided on the side of discretion, keeping the recently injured Glock out of the seat until he is fully healed. Or possibly, Toyota was ecstatic with Kobayashi’s performance last week and really wants to further investigate if this young Japanese talent deserves consideration for a seat at the fabled team where Ralf Schumacher’s career went into hospice care.
Whatever the case, Kobayashi put on an aggressive driver’s clinic at Brazil. If it weren’t for the little fact that Jenson clinched his championship at Interlagos, Kamui would have been the story of the race.
You can be sure that the TV cameras (reportedly HD for the first time) will be trained on this young talent all weekend long. The playing field is pretty level for all the teams as Yas Marina is unknown to everyone. This opens up the door a little more for a guy like Kobayashi to possibly shine.
Toyota is in the midst of a rather confusing array of driver possibilities for the 2010 season. They have offered Kimi Raikonnen a deal, which he turned down, but negotiations are supposedly ongoing. On top of that, Toyota has asked Jarno Trulli to not sign with anybody until mid November but Jarno has stated that he would not come back to the team unless management changes were made. Timo Glock has shown well this season and certainly deserves a seat in F1 next year, but depending on what happens above him with Jarno and Kimi, he may have to take his chances at the Cosworth end of the grid.
But then along comes Kobayashi to complicate the deal. If he shows well again this weekend, Toyota may ratchet up the pressure to get him into a seat at their F1 team.