Poll results: Kobayashi biggest disappointment of 2009
September 22, 2009 1 Comment
According to a poll of the GP2insider readers, DAMS driver Kamui Kobayashi has been the biggest disappointment of 2009.
This is clearly due to the great expectations created by Kam as a result of his convincing GP2 Asia championship earlier this year. Though Kobayashi has never really gotten a hold of the GP2 Dallara in Europe, his performance in Asia seemed to mark a change in direction and a possible challenge for the 2009 crown. Toyota would have surely liked this to happen, but Kam has had a dismal season, with little joy to himself or his backers. As pointed out many times, I believe the Toyota Development program will pull the plug on Kam, pushing up promising drivers such as Keisuke Kunimoto – winner of the 2008 Macau Grand Prix and who recently debuted in Europe in WSR with Epsilon Euskadi. TRD Also has Marcus Ericsson and Andrea Caldarelli as backup options.
Maldonado shows up as #2, though he is my personal top choice for biggest disappointment. I seriously though Pastor would be a title contender for 2009, and he wasn’t even close. He was clearly overshadowed early in the season by Nico Hulkenberg and his quick adaptation to GP2, and that surely had a negative effect on Pastor and his concentration. He can’t ever complain of not having enough support, as Venezuelan oil giant PDVSA has backed him consistently throughout his years in Formula Renault, WSR and GP2. What does the future hold for Pastor? I would wager that his GP2 days are coming to a close… the F1 dream has probably all but vanished by now.
Finally, Durango/Barwa driver Davide Valsecchi is #3 on the list. The Renault driver promised much for 2009, after ending 2008 on a high note and challenging for the GP2 Asia crown. Valsecchi was out of form all season. Many may attribute this to Durango, but his last races with Barwa have shown little significant improvement from Davide. Yes, he did a bit better, but not enough for a driver with an F1 team looking over your shoulder. As opposed to Kam or Pastor, I do think we will see Valsecchi in GP2 next year, though he will most likely be punted off the Renault program. Let’s hope he can regain his confidence and figure better in the 2010 season.
The complete poll results: