Kamui Kobayashi has done his chances of securing a race seat in F1 for the 2010 season no harm at all after an impressive debut in the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Kobayashi was called into the Toyota line-up to deputise for the injured Timo Glock and produced an impressive display as he ran in the points early on and was embroiled in a long battle with champion elect Jenson Button.
While Button questioned some of Kobayashi's defensive driving, and the Japanese driver was involved in the incident which saw countryman Kazuki Nakajima crash out after appearing to move over on the Williams man, his encouraging performance was rewarded with a tenth place finish and praise from team boss Tadashi Yamashima.
“Kamui was the only Toyota in the race but he did a really good job, especially on a track he has never raced on before and after the difficult conditions earlier in the weekend,” he said. “As we have come to expect from him, he battled really hard and also put on an exciting show for the fans. It was particularly impressive to see him overtaking another car at the end of a hard race and I am proud of his efforts."
Kobayashi himself was also happy with the results of his first weekend in F1, even if he admitted to being slightly disappointed not to have scored points.
"It was a tough race for me,” he said. “As this was my Grand Prix debut I experienced a lot of things for the first time in Formula 1 so it was a learning experience. Physically it felt like a really long race and it was quite tough. My first target was to finish the race and I am pleased to achieve that, but after the start I was in a decent position to score points so I am a little disappointed I didn't.
“The car felt good in the first stint but when I changed tyres the balance felt a different and I was struggling a bit; probably this was just down to experience. It was my first race so there are several areas to improve but overall I am happy with how I have performed this weekend and I would like to thank the team for all its support."