Toyota have confirmed that Kamui Kobayashi will take over testing duties from Franck Montagny. The Frenchman has left the team and F1 in order to pursue other challenges.
Kobayashi will be competing in his final Formula Three race at Macau this weekend. After the race, he will meet up with Toyota and will start his testing duties at Jerez next month. Kobayashi has been a part of Toyota s Young Drivers Programme (YDP) since 2001.
“This is a great challenge for me and I am very excited about becoming a Formula One driver,â€ he said. “This is a fantastic opportunity for me. My first tests for the team last winter went well but I still have things to learn about F1 and it will be a great experience for me to test more regularly with the team. I am sure I will learn a lot about Formula One cars and hopefully this will help me in my future career but for now, I am focused on helping the team move forward.â€
Tadashi Yamashima, chairman and team principal for Toyota racing said, “Kamui tested the car last winter and showed he had great potential to drive in F1 in the future. Now, after another season gaining experience in Formula Three, we believe he is ready for the challenge of Formula One. It is also very gratifying to see the TDP scheme delivering results and helping a promising young driver to reach F1.”