Kamui Kobayashi made his F1 debut this season, when he was brought in by Toyota to sub for the injured Timo Glock.
He got his first chance to 'compete' at the Japanese Grand Prix, when he took part in the two Friday practice sessions, before Glock, who had been unwell, returned to the fold on the Saturday. However, the German suffered a sizable crash in qualifying and he was forced to miss the race, something that allowed Kobayashi to take in the final two events of the year – but not the one at Suzuka due to the regulations.
The Japanese driver thus had to wait until Brazil before breaking his F1 duck and there he qualified eleventh, before going well in the race. Indeed he eventually finished ninth, following a good tussle with newly crowned 2009 F1 World Champion, Jenson Button and a controversial incident with fellow countryman, Kazuki Nakajima.
Abu Dhabi followed and Kobayashi really shone there too, and despite only qualifying twelfth, managed to finish sixth - ahead of his more experienced team-mate, Jarno Trulli - and score points on only his second F1 appearance.
It was thought that his form had been good enough to earn him a full-time seat with Toyota in F1 2010, until the Japanese manufacturer pulled the plug on its F1 programme. He has since been linked to a number of teams, including Renault and Sauber, but nothing has yet been officially announced.
Nevertheless his form was enough to impress you and he was voted sixth in your poll for the top driver of the 2009 season.
Top ten grid positions: