As the Formula One championship winds to a close, the series is on track for a big change-up in drivers. But not before one last in-season switch. Earlier this season, Toro Rosso replaced Sebastien Bourdais with Jaime Alguersuai. Ferrari called up Luca Badoer to fill in for an injured Felipe Massa when Michael Schumacher wasn't up to the task, and subsequently replaced Badoer with Giancarlo Fisichella, leaving Force India to promote Tonio Liuzzi to Fisico's seat. And of course Renault fired Nelson Piquet Jr and brought in Romain Grosjean in his stead. Now Toyota has announced that Kamui Kobayashi will be filling in for Timo Glock at Toyota this coming weekend in Brazil.
Glock started out with four races for Jordan Grand Prix in 2004, earning the rare distinction of scoring championship points in his race debut. The German driver then moved back down to Champ Cars and on to the GP2 Series, whose championship he won in 2007 before being called back up to F1 by Toyota. So far this season, Timo's scored two podiums, including a second place finish in Singapore, but may have to sit out the remaining two races this season due to an underestimated injury. During the Saturday qualification session for this past Japanese Grand Prix, Glock suffered a major crash, which seemed initially only to have cut his leg. Glock was sidelined for the race, but was expected to be back in the cockpit for Brazil until it was discovered that he suffered a cracked vertebrae.
Unable to drive, Toyota has promoted their reserve driver Kamui Kobayashi to fill in. The reigning champion in the GP2 Asia Series, Kobayashi will be making his grand prix debut at a track he doesn't know next weekend in a car he's only driven once. The 23-year-old driver is excited for his unexpected race debut, and is undoubtedly hoping he can match Glock's distinction. Follow the jump for Toyota's official announcement.
[Source: Toyota | Image: Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty]
Timo Glock to miss Brazilian Grand Prix
Panasonic Toyota Racing regrets to announce that Timo Glock will not participate in the Brazilian Grand Prix due to injuries he suffered in qualifying at Suzuka.
Timo was initially diagnosed with only a minor cut to his leg following his accident in qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix, but subsequent medical checks in Germany have revealed a cracked vertebra. Doctors have therefore ruled him out of this weekend's race.
As announced earlier today at the Motor Sports Japan festival, third driver Kamui Kobayashi will replace Timo at Interlagos. Kamui took part in Friday practice at Suzuka while Timo recovered from illness and acquitted himself well despite difficult conditions.
President John Howett said: "Obviously everyone in the team is very disappointed and feels for Timo; we wish him a very speedy recovery. Based on the initial diagnosis, we fully expected Timo to return in Brazil but unfortunately a different injury has been revealed which prevents that.
"He will remain in Germany to recover and we hope he can recuperate in time for Abu Dhabi, although at this stage the situation is not clear.
"Kamui was the natural choice to step in and he proved in Suzuka that he is capable of holding his own. It is a difficult task for him but he knows the team will give him its complete support and we know he is motivated to make the most of this unexpected opportunity."
A decision on Timo's participation in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be made in due course.
Kamui Kobayashi's Career Summary
1996 SL Takarazuka Tournament, Cadet: 3rd
1997 SL All Japan Cadet: 1st
1998 JAF Cup West Cadet: 1st
1999 SL All Japan Tournament (S stock, D class): 1st
2000 All Japan Junior Kart Championship
Suzuka Kart Championship: 1st
2001 All Japan Kart Championship, ICA: 1st
Asia Pacific Kart Championship, ICA
Esso Formula Toyota Racing School scholarship
2002 Kart Euro Championship
Esso Formula Toyota Series (1 race)
2003 Esso Formula Toyota Series: 2nd
2004 Formula Renault Italia: 4th (2 wins)
2005 Formula Renault Italia: 1st (6 wins)
Formula Renault Eurocup: 1st (5 wins)
2006 Formula 3 Euro Series: 8th (Rookie of the Year)
2007 Formula 3 Euro Series: 4th (1 win)
2008 GP2 Series Asia: 6th (2 wins)
GP2 Series: 16th (1 win)
F1: Panasonic Toyota Racing, third driver
2009 GP2 Asia Series: 1st (2 wins)
GP2 Series: 16th (1 podium)
F1: Panasonic Toyota Racing, third driver