x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Glock's season is over as Kobayashi gets nod

Kamui Kobayashi will again deputise for the injured Timo Glock in the final race of the Formula One season in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Timo Glock is attended by paramedics after his crash in Japan at the beginning of the month.
Timo Glock is attended by paramedics after his crash in Japan at the beginning of the month.

Kamui Kobayashi will again deputise for the injured Timo Glock in the final race of the Formula One season in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. Glock remains unfit to drive for Toyota after cracking a vertebra and cutting his leg in an accident in qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix nearly four weeks ago. Kobayashi produced an impressive debut performance in Brazil two weeks ago when he qualified 11th and finished ninth in a lively performance which saw him hold off the challenge of world champion-elect Jenson Button in his Brawn in the opening laps.

"We feel genuinely sorry for Timo that his season, which has included two impressive podium finishes, is ending in this way," said the Toyota Motorsport president John Howett. "Having discussed the medical advice with Timo and his management, the team has decided to take no risk and to put Kamui in the car. "Kamui performed well in Brazil in difficult circumstances, so we are happy to ask him to again deputise."

If Kobayashi, 23, emulates his battling performance in Brazil, the Japanese driver could earn himself a permanent race seat at Toyota for next season. Neither Glock or Jarno Trulli have been re-signed as yet by the Japanese firm for the 2010 season. Meanwhile, the double world champion Fernando Alonso says he is desperate to sign off his career with Renault in style with a strong showing at Yas Marina Circuit.

The Spaniard, who won both his titles with the French team, raced for them between 2003 and 2006, and then again from 2008 until now, winning 17 races in that time. "I would love to finish the season and my Renault career with a great result," he said. "It will be an emotional race because I have enjoyed so many special memories with this team and I am leaving behind a lot of friends. "Renault is one of the great teams in Formula One and I look forward to fighting with them on the track in the years ahead."

Paying tribute to Alonso, team principal Bob Bell remarked: "He's made a huge contribution to the team, especially winning two world championships in 2005 and 2006 so he will be missed enormously. "It's often said he is the best driver on the grid, and I wouldn't disagree with that, so we're understandably sad to see the end of our very successful relationship. "But we're also looking forward and we're all delighted to be welcoming Robert Kubica to the team as I believe he will quickly show that he is of the same calibre as Fernando.

"He's a strong team player, a great motivator and incredibly quick, so we have plenty to look forward to as we enter a new era for the team."