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Kobayashi admits chances of 2013 drive are over

ESPN Staff
December 17, 2012 « Grosjean confirmed at Lotus for 2013 | Gillan leaves Williams »
Kamui Kobayashi hopes to return to F1 in 2014 © Sutton Images
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Kamui Kobayashi has conceded he will not drive in Formula One in 2013 despite raising a budget of €8 million though his personal website.

After losing his drive at Sauber to Esteban Gutierrez and Nico Hulkenberg, Kobayashi was hoping to secure a seat at another competitive team and appealed to his fans to help him build a budget. But with the only remaining openings for next year at Force India, Caterham and Marussia - all of which have several drivers competing for each position - Kobayashi has admitted his chances for 2013 are over.

"I was in the position to bring a budget of €8 million at least," he wrote in a message to his fans on his website. "If you could imagine the time I had, it was [an] 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 [a] 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."

Kobayashi reached out to his fans to help him secure funding for a race drive and he thanked those who had contributed and helped raised interest from businesses.

"I appreciate that many of you have donated and tried 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."