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Kamui Kobayashi believes he will remain at Sauber for the 2013 F1 season, despite his current struggle to secure sufficient sponsorship. The Swiss team has made no secret of the fact that its drivers will need to obtain enough funding in order to be employed.
Kobayashi, who picked up a maiden podium finish in Japan, has driven for Sauber since the start of 2010. Since then, the outfit had enjoyed a steady improvement which follows the sudden departure of former team owner BMW at the end of 2009.
“We have to work hard to get next year’s seat,” he admits, hoping the team elects to retain him alongside newcomer Nico Hülkenberg.
“I’m pretty confident that I deserve a Formula 1 seat but, for sure, we definitely need to focus on these last three races. So, let’s see. We don't have so many seats (left) either, so that’s also a big question; I think I’ll try to focus on the results and also negotiate with other teams or the same team…I don’t know.”
A selection of paddock insiders are confident that reserve driver Esteban Gutiérrez will be promoted to a race seat, not least as Mexico’s Telmex is remaining a partner of the Hinwil-based squad. Despite that fact, Kobayashi is confident that his services will be retained.
“It's a feeling,” he continues. “I have nothing, you know, but just a feeling. If I could explain something I would, but unfortunately I can’t. I think we will just have to see. The feeling for next year is just (pause) a feeling.”
Current team-mate Sergio Pérez, now nearing the end of his second full season in the sport, will in 2013 head to McLaren as Lewis Hamilton moves on to Mercedes.
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