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Kobayashi handed F1 drive with Sauber

Kamui Kobayashi has earned a Formula One drive with Sauber on the back of his impressive displays for Toyota.
Kamui Kobayashi has earned a Formula One drive with Sauber on the back of his impressive displays for Toyota.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Kamui Kobayashi is handed a drive with the newly-formed Sauber team for the 2010 Formula One season
  • Kobayashi performed well for Toyota in the final two races of last season while deputising for Timo Glock
  • The 23-year-old appeared certain to be handed a permanent drive with Toyota -- before their withdrawal

(CNN) -- Kamui Kobayashi has been handed a drive with the newly-formed Sauber team for the 2010 Formula One season.

Kobayashi performed superbly for Toyota in the final two races of last season while deputising for Timo Glock, who sustained a leg injury following a heavy crash in qualifying for the Japanese GP.

After the 23-year-old Japanese finished ninth in Brazil and a magnificent sixth in Abu Dhabi, he appeared certain to be handed a permanent drive with Toyota -- before their withdrawal from F1.

"In the final two grands prix of last season Kamui was granted an unexpected chance to show his skills, and he made impressive use of it," team chief Peter Sauber said on their official Web site.

I am proud to be able to carry on flying the Japanese flag in Formula One."
-- Kamui Kobayashi

"Particularly in the Abu Dhabi race he demonstrated not only that he can drive fast and aggressively, but also his ability to successfully implement a strategy.

"I am convinced he has a great deal of potential and will be able to make the most of it in our team."

Kobayashi, who has previously competed in Formula Renault, Formula Three Euro Series, GP2 and GP2 Asia, winning the latter title last year, is naturally thrilled to be continuing his career in F1.

"Ever since the start of my career I have dreamed of racing in Formula One," said Kobayashi. "Now this dream has come true. I am very happy my two races in 2009 earned me a cockpit place.

"I will do my very best for Peter Sauber's team, and I am proud to be able to carry on flying the Japanese flag in Formula One."