Not many people would turn their back on Ferrari to drive Caterham's Formula 1 car, but Kamui Kobayashi has been anything but conventional since he burst onto the F1 scene in 2009.
He spent three-and-a-bit seasons building a reputation as a demon late braker and master overtaker. Recall his decisive moves on Sebastien Buemi and Fernando Alonso to finish seventh in the 2010 European Grand Prix at Valencia, or passing a sequence of rivals including Sauber team-mate Nick Heidfeld, Buemi, Jaime Alguersuari (twice!), Adrian Sutil and Rubens Barrichello to finish seventh again in front of his home fans in Japan.
Fitting, because that's where Kobayashi's F1 story began in earnest. In truth, he looked headed for the single-seater scrapheap until Toyota's Timo Glock injured his leg during practice for the 2009 Suzuka race. Kobayashi grabbed the opportunity to prove himself with both hands. He finished just outside the points on his race debut in Brazil (ending up ninth), but beat experienced team-mate Jarno Trulli to a top-six finish in the Abu Dhabi finale.
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Ben Anderson is Autosport's Grand Prix Editor and one of our track testers. He holds an undergraduate degree in journalism studies from the University of Sheffield and joined the title in March of 2008, after eight months working in local newspaper journalism for award-winning weekly the Surrey Mirror. He has raced karts and cars since the age of 11, and occasionally continues to do so around his reporting commitments for Autosport.@BenAndersonAuto More features by Ben Anderson