Mike Stevens | Dec 18, 2009

JAPANESE SENSATION KAMUI Kobayashi will remain on the Formula 1 grid after securing a drive with Sauber for the 2010 season.

The 23-year-old was the talk of the paddock following his two race stint with Toyota, surprising with his race craft and aggressive approach as he claimed a sixth place finish at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

A major highlight of Kobayashi’s swift introduction into the hustle and bustle of Formula 1 was his on-track battle with World Champion Jenson Button, which proved without question that he is capable of duelling with the sport’s big guns.

Kobaysahi, who was poised to earn a full time drive with Toyota prior to its withdrawal, said he was pleased to have gained a berth on the F1 grid.

“Ever since the start of my career I have dreamed of racing in Formula 1. Now this dream has come true,” he said.

“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 Formula 1.”

Peter Sauber revealed he was thrilled to snare Kobayashi, saying he was compelled to offer him a contract after witnessing his spectacular debut performances at Interlagos and Yas Marina.

“I’m very much looking forward to working together with Kamui,” he said.

“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.”

German Nick Heidfeld is believed to be in pole position to snare the second seat with the outfit if, as expected, he misses out on a drive at Mercedes Grand Prix to seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher.

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