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Kobayashi to land Pirelli role for 2013?

Sauber refugee Kamui Kobayashi could this week be named as Pirelli's latest test and development driver.
Kamui Kobayashi may have given up on finding a way of remaining on the F1 grid this season, but could yet play a part in the sport's future.

The Japanese driver was squeezed out of the Sauber line-up when sponsor pressure led to Esteban Gutierrez being named alongside former Williams and Force India pilot Nico Hulkenberg, and saw a fund-raising effort by his fans come up short of raising enough to make him a contender for the remaining vacancies. As a result, Kobayashi took the unusual step of announcing that he was turning his attention to reclaiming a place in the field for 2014, despite seats remaining at Caterham and Force India.

Even though Timo Glock's split with Marussia has opened a third door for those drivers still hoping for a chance to compete in 2013, Kobayashi looks set to land a testing role with Pirelli, as the rumour mill suggests that he could be the next name to be hired by the sport's official tyre supplier.

Although both Lucas di Grassi and Jaime Alguersuari remain available to the Italian manufacturer – despite the Brazilian landing an Audi sportscar contract and the development role with Formula E – France's F1i claims that Kobayashi looks likely to ink a deal with Paul Hembery to help develop the next generation of F1 tyres.

Even before temporarily calling time on his F1 career, the Japanese was being linked to a Pirelli role, along with former Force India favourite Adrian Sutil, and this week's official programme launch is expected to confirm the tie-up between driver and tyre supplier.

Alguersuari, meanwhile, remains hopeful of landing one of the three race seats currently up for grabs, despite not being the favourite for any of them. Sutil and Jules Bianchi are thought to be the only contenders to partner Paul di Resta at Force India, while Bruno Senna, Vitaly Petrov, Luiz Razia and Giedo van der Garde are likely to see whose money speaks loudest at Caterham and Marussia. Sebastien Buemi was ruled out of the race for the seats when Red Bull reconfirmed him as its official reserve on Tuesday [22 January].

Tagged as: Pirelli , Sauber , Kamui Kobayashi

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
24.11.2012- Free Practice 3, Pirelli Tyres
Mario Isola (ITA), Sporting Director Pirelli
27.10.2012- Free Practice 3, Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorspor Director and Mario Isola (ITA), Sporting Director Pirelli
23.11.2012- Free Practice 1, Kamui Kobayashi (JAP) Sauber F1 Team C31
Qualifying: Kamui Kobayashi (JAP) Sauber F1 Team C31
Kamui Kobayashi (JAP) Sauber F1 Team C31
16.11.2012 - Free practice 1, Kamui Kobayashi (JAP) Sauber F1 Team C31
Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber C36
Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber C36
Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber C36
Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber C36
Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber C36
Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber C36
Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber C36
Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber C36
Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber C36
Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber C36
Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber C36

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kperez - Unregistered

January 23, 2013 11:18 AM

Well, I suppose testing 2014 tires is better than sitting out...F1 has the stated image of the "pinnacle of motorsport" yet this is far from the truth...rather each team does not have sufficient funds to develop their cars and support the best performing driver...as a result, only those drivers with $$, and lots of it, get to drive...so little rich kids like Sutil get a seat but better drivers w/o financial backing, like Kobay do not. Is this,then the pinnacle of motorsport? I think not!

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