Renault had Kobayashi in their sights
1 February, 2010
Feb.1 (GMM) Kamui Kobayashi on Sunday coyly revealed earlier talks about the 2010 season with Renault.
The Japanese rookie made a spectacular two-race debut with the departing Toyota team at the tail-end of 2009, and was subsequently signed up by Sauber.
But as he also carries some personal sponsorship, rumours abounded that the 23-year-old was courted by several teams.
When asked at the launch of the C29 at Valencia whether he had other options for 2010, he was quoted by Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport as responding: “I had them, but do I have to mention the names?”
When his manager anxiously waved in the background, the 2009 GP2 driver smiled: “I would be happy to be open with you, but as you can see, I am not allowed to speak!”
Reports indicate that Renault, which ultimately signed the Russian pay-driver Vitaly Petrov, was one of Kobayashi’s options.
Auto Motor und Sport said he will now relocate from Paris, where he lived in order to be close to his GP2 employer DAMS, to Switzerland.