Kamui Kobayashi has inked a deal with the Sauber F1 team that will see him make his full-time debut next season at the pinnacle of the sport.
Kobayashi made a name for himself at the end of the 2009 F1 season when he was brought in by Toyota to sub for the injured Timo Glock. Indeed he did so well in Brazil and at the season ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - where he finished sixth and broke his duck on only his second outing in F1 - that he had been expected to drive for Toyota next season, until the Japanese manufacturer pulled the plug on its F1 programme.
The 23-year-old, who was Toyota's test and reserve driver in 2008 and 2009 and who convincingly won the GP2 Asia Series title in 2008-09 with DAMS, is now looking forward to 2010 and working with the former BMW-run squad.
"Ever since the start of my career I have dreamed of racing in F1," said Kobayashi. "Now this dream has come true. I am very happy that my two races in 2009 have 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 F1."
Peter Sauber meanwhile is confident that Kobayashi will be able to deliver and score lots more points in 2010, to add to the three he managed at the end of 2009.
"I'm very much looking forward to working together with Kamui," said Peter Sauber. "In the final two Grand Prix of last season he was granted an unexpected chance to show his skills, and he made impressive use of it.
"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."