Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Young Japanese hopefuls to test for Toyota 10 Nov 2006

Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) ASM Formule 3. Formula Three Euroseries, Rd1, Hockenheim, Germany, 7-9 April 2006. World © Sutton.

Toyota have announced they are to give two young Japanese drivers, Kamui Kobayashi and Kohei Hirate, the opportunity to test a Formula One car for the first time. Both Hirate and Kobayashi (pictured) are members of Toyota’s young driver programme and this season competed in the Formula 3 Euro Series.

“As a member of the Toyota family, I would like to take the opportunity that has been given to me to be an F1 test driver and I hope I can contribute to creating outstanding racecars and support the team,” said Kobayashi, who will continue to race in the Formula 3 Euro series next year. “I hope to gain extensive experience and become an appreciative driver.”

Hirate, who will move from Formula 3 to GP2 next year, is also looking forward to the opportunity.

“I can test drive occasionally so I am extremely happy about that,” explained Hirate. “I am very motivated for next season. I have advanced in GP2, which is a step toward F1, and I will do my very best to come even closer to F1.”

Kazuki Nakajima, another participant of Toyota’s young driver programme, was confirmed as an official tester for Williams earlier this week.