|© AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi
A podium finish at his home race at the Japanese Grand Prix last weekend has not given Kamui Kobayashi a firm holding on his seat at Sauber for next season.
Despite registering a career-best result at Suzuka, the 26-year-old is seeking financial backing to continue in the sport next year, leaving him a bit surprised by the state of events.
"I think a sponsor could help myself to be here next year, but at the moment I had no sponsors to be here," Kobayashi was quoted saying by Autosport. "It's a very strange feeling for me to find a sponsor to drive for another team or here.
"At this moment of course the money is very important, but I really want to be like a top driver without a sponsor, with a good team," he added. "To bring a sponsor is maybe very important for the future."
Kobayashi has been with the Swiss team since 2010 but despite several strong promising performances, his future is insecure.
"We are missing how a driver really has to be, thinking about the car. This is part of the driver's job. But now it looks like it's more about sponsorship. It's not a way a driver has to be," he pointed out. "So I'm a little bit surprised, but I'll try to stay in Formula 1 next year and try to show what I can do."