Kobayashi gives up on 2013 seat


Despite raising eight million euro in funding, Kamui Kobayashi has given up on securing race seat in 2013 and will instead concentrate on securing a drive in 2014.

As Romain Grosjean retains his Lotus drive and Adrian Sutil looks set to take the vacant berth at Force India, former Sauber star Kobayashi, who took to the internet to raise money for a seat, admitted defeat on his own website.

"Thank you for the big support," he told his fans, many of whom have pledged money in an attempt to see their hero return to the grid. "I am very appreciated that many of you have donated and trying to make donation. I must mention this that since the donation started, it has become quite big news in Japan. And because of your big support, it gave huge influences to some of Japanese companies and I started receiving good support from them.

"I was in the position to bring a budget of 8 million Euro at least," he revealed. "If you could imagine the time I had, it was overwhelming reaction and it shows there still is a great potential from Japanese companies.

"Unfortunately, the time was still short and I am not able to secure the seat with competitive F1 team for 2013. I have to admit that it is very sad and feel sorry for fans and Japanese companies who supported me. But I am still confident to make it happen in 2014.

"I would like to stop the donation for now and while I will save all the money for 2014, I start to look what is the best option for 2013 and also 2014. My main priority is to secure the competitive F1 seat in 2014. I have no interests to race any other categories. I will make an announcement as soon as I make a decision for 2013. So, please wait and really looking forward your support for coming year, too."

For many, one of the highlights of the 2012 season was the obvious joy of the local fans when Kobayashi finished on the podium for his home race, the shouts of support drowning out the post-race interviews with Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa.

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Published: 17/12/2012
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