Ex-F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi gets Alex Wurz's Toyota LMP1 seat

Ex-Formula 1 driver Kamui Kobayashi will graduate from his test and reserve role to a full-season race seat with Toyota in this year's World Endurance Championship

Ex-F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi gets Alex Wurz's Toyota LMP1 seat

The Japanese driver, who contested three grands prix for Toyota before going on to race in F1 with Sauber and Caterham, is taking the place of the retired Alex Wurz in Toyota's line-up.

He will join Stephane Sarrazin and Mike Conway in the second of the the two all-new TS050 HYBRID LMP1s.

Toyota reveals new LMP1 livery

Toyota Motorsport GmbH president Toshio Sato said: "Kamui showed his speed and commitment in testing, so it was a relatively easy decision to select him to replace Alex."

Kobayashi, who raced in the WEC in 2013 with the factory Ferrari AF Corse GTE team, said he was "really excited to be an LMP1 race driver"

Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima have been retained to drive the lead TS050 HYBRID.

A replacement for Kobayashi as test and reserve driver is set to be announced on the launch of the TS050 in late March.

One candidate is believed to be Ryo Hirakawa, who Toyota has announced it will be placing in an LMP2 car with an undisclosed team in the European Le Mans Series.

The 21-year-old was a race winner in Super GT last season with the TOM'S Lexus team.

He is understood to have tested for Toyota at Aragon last month along with another candidate.

Toyota is known to be evaluating other drivers for the role this month.

shares
comments
Bruno Senna signs up for WEC LMP2 campaign with Morand-run team
Previous article

Bruno Senna signs up for WEC LMP2 campaign with Morand-run team

Next article

Toyota reveals new LMP1 livery for 2016 WEC season

Toyota reveals new LMP1 livery for 2016 WEC season
Load comments
Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021 Plus

Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez scored a second successive World Endurance Championship title in the #7 Toyota, as its new Le Mans Hypercar went unbeaten. Autosport recaps how each of the four classes in the 2021 season were won and picks out the best LMH and GTE drivers

WEC
Nov 28, 2021
The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending Plus

The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending

OPINION: The deeply unsatisfying ending to a brilliant World Endurance Championship GTE Pro battle in Bahrain had Ferrari provisionally heading back from the desert as the victor. But Porsche plans to appeal the outcome, which rests on a number of confusing elements that have yet to be satisfactorily explained

WEC
Nov 9, 2021
How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint Plus

How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint

The Ferrari versus Porsche fight for the World Endurance Championship's GTE Pro title had been a finely-poised affair, right up until Alessandro Pier Guidi's punt on Michael Christensen in the closing stages of the Bahrain 8 Hours handed Ferrari a provisional title, pending Porsche's appeal. Here's how the controversy played out

WEC
Nov 8, 2021
The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster Plus

The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster

The 1-2 finish achieved by Toyota at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours was a result that will have surprised few, given its status as pre-event favourite. But the result was anything but straightforward, as worsening fuel pressure concerns required the team's drivers and engineers to pursue "creative fixes" on the fly. Here is the full story of how it reached the end without a lengthy pit visit

Le Mans
Nov 3, 2021
How the #7 Toyota squad moved closer to clinching WEC's 2021 title Plus

How the #7 Toyota squad moved closer to clinching WEC's 2021 title

In the penultimate round of the 2021 World Endurance Championship, a better run of tyre wear for Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi brought the Toyota trio its third win from five events, as the #7 squad put one hand on the title. Here's how the first of the WEC's two Bahrain enduros played out

WEC
Nov 1, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Plus

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
The standout memories of Le Mans 2021 Plus

The standout memories of Le Mans 2021

OPINION: With four of the five Hypercar entries unproven in a 24-hour race, it would not have been unexpected for at least one of them to suffer serious reliability trouble. That they all managed to make it through the race relatively unscathed, says GARY WATKINS, was something of a surprise.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021