Kobayashi on earning his place in Formula 1

Kobayashi on earning his place in Formula 1

Kamui Kobayashi got his chance in Formula 1 despite an average stint in GP2. But those two grands prix at the end of 2009, and a steadily-improving time with Sauber this season, have worked the Japanese driver into a position where he now feels he belongs

Kamui Kobayashi has joked about how he was destined to spend 2010 working in his father's sushi restaurant. It's a snappy line, but more likely he would have slipped into the lucrative Japanese domestic racing scene in Formula Nippon and Super GT. Either way, he was all washed up one year in Europe one year ago.

Even Toyota had lost much of its faith in him in the wake of a dismal GP2 campaign during which he netted only one, reversed grid, podium finish. After ending the season 16th in the standings, a third Toyota-backed campaign in the F1 feeder series was a long-shot and he was unlikely even to retain his reserve driver role with the Japanese manufacturer's grand prix team.

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