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Kobayashi confirms he won't be in F1 next year
Monday 17th December 2012, 20:52 by Ryan Wood
© Sauber Motorsport AG
Kamui Kobayashi has confirmed what many of his fans had feared. The Japanese driver won't be racing in Formula 1 in 2013 after failing to secure a competitive seat.
Kobayashi made his debut in 2009 with Toyota, filling in for Timo Glock at the final two races of the season. He was picked up by Sauber for the 2010 season after Toyota quit the sport.
During his three seasons at Sauber he finished 12th in the drivers' championship each time.
The Swiss team confirmed it wouldn't be renewing his contract, instead opting for a completely new driver line-up of Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez.
Kobayashi attempted to raise funds to make him a more attractive option, however he has now paused his fund raising attempts despite amassing almost €8 million (£6.5m).
"Thank you for the big support," he wrote. "I am very appreciated that many of you have donated and [have tried] to make donation.
"I was in the position to bring a budget of 8 million Euro at least," he added. "If you could imagine the time I had, it was [an] overwhelming reaction and it shows there still is great potential from Japanese companies."
Despite the funding, he says he hasn't been able to find a "competitive seat" next season, and will therefore confirm his plans, which don't involve driving in another category, "soon".
"Unfortunately, the time was still short and I am not able to secure a seat with [a] competitive F1 team for 2013. I have to admit that it is very sad and [I] feel sorry for fans and Japanese companies who [have] supported me.
"But I am still confident to make it happen in 2014," he said.
His main priority now is to chase a seat for the following year.
"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."