Kamui Kobayashi is Toyota's test/third driver, and has been since 2007.
He is part of the Toyota Driver Academy, and has raced in various flavors of Formula Renault, Formula Three Euroseries, and currently GP2 for the DAMS team.
Debut & Toyota (2009)
His debut into F1 racing came at the 2009 Brazilian GP, where deputized for injured Timo Glock who had a bad crash at the previous race in Japan. Although he had stared in Practice for the Japanese GP he did not race in it.
Thus his debut in Brazil was explosive; he qualified well and started from 11th. Managing to get through the first lap madness he was up to 7th and quickly overtook fellow Japanese drive Nakajima. He then rather well defended from an on fire Jenson Button. He did later cause Kazuki Nakajima to crash after the Williams driver tried to overtake him. Despite the incidents Kobayashi managed to finish the race an impressive 9th.
He replaced Timo Glock again at the season final race in Abu Dhabi, where he finished an impressive 6th, collecting his first points in F1 and beating his vastly more experienced team mate Jarno Trulli.
However with the withdrawal of Toyota at the end of 2009, his hopes of getting a drive for 2010 took a bit of a blow.
Thankfully with Sauber returning as an independent team after BMW pulled out, it left the perfect opening for Kobayashi. he was quickly signed by the Swiss team to go into hi first full season in F1.