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Toyota to opt for Raikkonen and Kobayashi in 2010?

Toyota ponders all-new driver line-up for next year's FIA F1 World Championship.
Toyota look set to ditch both Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock next season, according to the latest gossip emerging from Interlagos this weekend, the venue for the penultimate round in the 2009 FIA F1 World Championship.

It is understood that the Japanese manufacturer is keen to try and ink a deal with Ferrari reject and 2007 F1 world champion, Kimi Raikkonen.

However while something has been put to the Finn, who is also rumoured to be in talks with McLaren, his management is holding out for more money before he agrees to join the Cologne-based outfit.

"His manager has asked for more money," Toyota team president, John Howett told BBC Sport on Saturday. "However, we have said that we have put more than enough money on the table."

Meanwhile Howett also added that test and reserve driver Kamui Kobayashi could be another option for 2010.

Indeed Kobayashi, who is standing in for the injured Timo Glock this weekend, shone in a chaotic and rain-lashed qualifying session and will line-up eleventh on the grid in his TF109.

"A qualifying session of almost three hours is quite unique and I haven't experienced anything like it before in F1. But the team and drivers performed well to stay focused," added Toyota's senior chassis general manager, Pascal Vasselon.

"We are really happy for Kamui. He missed on the top ten by a tiny margin but eleventh place in his first F1 qualifying session is a great achievement, especially considering the weather was so bad. Now we are looking forward to tomorrow when the weather could play a part again, so it should be an interesting race on Sunday."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F60, British F1, Silverstone, 19th-21st, June, 2009
John Howett (GBR), President Of Toyota Motorsport, Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, Sakhir, Australian F1 Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, 27-29th, March, 2009
John Howett (GBR), President Of Toyota Motorsport, Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, 24-26th, April, 2009

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October 18, 2009 9:58 PM

yank I was really immpressed with Kobayashi, A friend of mine told me about this guy in GP2 he had an average team but finished in some good positions, unlike the usual japanese driver scenario of good team average driver! So i was really looking forward to seeing the guy race and he didnt dissapoint, Nakajima will disagree and it was a dubious "double move" but i have seen enough from this lad to like him alot already :)


October 19, 2009 11:01 AM

Kobayashi looked good indeed at Interlagos. It was definitely the GP2 Asia Kobayashi we got, not the disappointing GP2 one. He was fast, hugely entertaining, held off a charging Button, super stuff. A few dodgy moves (taking out Nakajima) but otherwise a great debut. Toyota should keep him in the car next year. Kimi will get disillusioned if Toyota can't give him a consistent, Race winning car, which i don't think they will sadly. He will lose interest. They need a young charger - like Glock, but he's in demand elsewhere, and must feel unloved at the moment. They should go for Heidfeld, OK not young but just what Toyota needs.

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