Kobayashi fears for F1 future
F1 FUTURE AT RISK: Kamui Kobayashi will need to land a sponsor soon or he risks losing his race seat in 2013.
Author: Peter Stebbings
YEONGAM, South Korea - Kamui Kobayashi fears he may not have a seat in Formula 1 in 2013,- and that only days after he stormed to a podium place at his home GP.
He admitted that his future was up in the air for 2013. His team mate Sergio Perez is on his way to McLaren to replace Lewis Hamilton but his own fate remains uncertain with only five races left in 2012.
SEARCHING FOR A SPONSOR
Kobayashi said: "I have no sponsors to be here. It's a very strange feeling. I want to be in F1, this is my dream since I was young. Getting a sponsor is very important for the future."
Perez is one of the so-called "pay drivers" on the F1 circuit. His backing by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim - said to be the richest man in the world - is worth millions of dollars to Sauber.
Kobayashi regretted that he needed to think about attracting sponsors when he'd rather be concentrating fully on racing, although experts say Sauber would be loath to change both drivers for 2013. Kobayashi said: "This (getting a sponsor) for the future is very important, maybe. Driving and thinking about the car is the driver's job, but now we have to think about sponsors. It's not what a driver should have to do.
"I'm a little bit surprised but I will try to stay in F1 for the next few years. I'll try to show for the rest of the season what I can do."
Kobayashi said that despite his acclaim at home after Suzuka, offers of sponsorship had not been forthcoming. "I've been very busy but I will need to look (for a sponsor). I really need to think about this. It's a pity."
He was not aware of Honda's reported interest in returning to the sport. "I'd be very happy if they came back but we'll have to see if I'm still here or not. Next year is difficult for me. After next year I think it will still be difficult."
Asked if he could lose out on a place in the sport because of money, irrespective of his talent, he said: "This is racing, no?"
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