You may of noticed a new name on the time sheets for practice ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix, Toyota test driver Kamui Kobayashi, who has stepped in last minute to cover for Timo Glock who wasn’t feeling well enough to take part in the sessions.
Speaking before the practice sessions Kobayashi said: “It is a pity Timo is not feeling well today. But I am grateful for the team’s trust in me to take part in practice for the Japanese Grand Prix. I have experienced the TF109 already and I am looking forward to trying it out at Suzuka, even though it is only for practice. I will do my best to contribute to the team’s preparations and of course I wish Timo a very fast recovery.”
Kobayashi is the reigning GP2 Asia champion and recently completed his second GP2 series campaign.
The young Japanese driver faired well for his debut, completing 16 laps in the first session finishing 19th and 12 in the rain disrupted session after completing 7 laps.
After the practice he said “I only heard I would be driving today at 8.30 this morning when I was on my way to the circuit; it was a bit of a surprise because even though I knew Timo was sick, I wasn’t expecting this. It was a really good opportunity for me but the conditions were pretty bad and I didn’t get a lot of laps in the end. I had quite a good run in the first session and I was trying to improve step by step. It was important not to make any mistakes because I wanted to complete as many laps as possible, for me and the team. I wasn’t pushing 100% due to the wet conditions but still the lap times were pretty good, especially considering I don’t have much experience of this track and haven’t driven here for six years. The car feels like it has improved a lot since I last drove it in February. It’s difficult to judge in the wet but I was really impressed with how much development has been done in that time.”
Timo Glock is expected to be well enough to take part in the Qualifying tomorrow and the Grand Prix on Sunday.