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Kobayashi the opportunist

By Peter McKay, 21 Oct 2009 Motorsport

Kobayashi the opportunist

Toyota substitute may have earned himsef a permanent F1 seat.

Substituting for the injured Timo Glock, and in his first formula one race in Brazil last weekend, young Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi certainly went all out to create an impression with his Toyota team bosses.

On the track, his tearaway, no-prisoners approach alarmed more than impressed fellow drivers. But undoubtedly, Toyota would have endorsed his refusal to respect reputations, and his glory-or-bust approach.

Like many Japanese drivers, Kobayashi is quick and shows no fear in the wet and he out-qualified the likes of Button, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

Kobayashi finished 10th on Sunday but could have easily have finished in the points. He held off world champ in the making, Jenson button for many laps, carved up countryman Kazuki Nakajima like a chef dicing sushimi, and near the end of the race, enthusiastically whipped around the Ferrari of Giancarlo Fisichella.

If Toyota elects to stay in F1 next year, Kobayashi looks to have played himself into one of the two seats. We may see him back for the final race in Abu Dhabi, where it almost certainly won't rain. A sandstorm is the best he could hope for.