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F1 NEWS 

Kamui Kobyashi thanks fans for help in Formula 1 funding quest

KamKamui Kobayashi has thanked the fans who have tried to help save his Formula 1 career by backing a fundraising website.

After losing his Sauber drive because he could not raise enough sponsorship money, Kobayashi has set up a 'Kamui Support' website where fans can donate money to help boost his funds.

The website has only been active for a few days, but the Japanese driver announced on Tuesday that it was generating great interest and he had already secured around 500,000.

In a message posted in Japanese on his Twitter account, Kobayashi said: "Thank you for your support from everyone for 'Kamui Support'. Thank you very much.

"As of November 27, the current fundraising total was 65,813,672 yen."

Although the 500,000 would not be enough to secure a drive on its own, a growing fund like that could prove useful in topping up any backing he has.

Kobayashi said at the weekend that he was in talks with another team - believed to be Force India - but that his chances rested on securing funding.

"We're just waiting for some money to come in," said Kobayashi. "We're waiting, we just need a sign.

"It will be difficult. I'm talking with another team, but it's difficult to say. If I don't talk [to other teams] it means I'm retired."

2013 Formula 1 line-up so far

Kobayashi's quest for a seat appears to be down to Force India and Caterham, with most of next year's field now settled:

Red Bull-Renault      Sebastian Vettel  Mark Webber      
Ferrari               Fernando Alonso   Felipe Massa     
McLaren-Mercedes      Jenson Button     Sergio Perez     
Lotus-Renault         Kimi Raikkonen    Romain Grosjean *  
Mercedes              Lewis Hamilton    Nico Rosberg     
Sauber-Ferrari        Nico Hulkenberg   Esteban Gutierrez
Force India-Mercedes  Paul di Resta     drive available  
Williams-Renault      Pastor Maldonado  Valtteri Bottas *  
Toro Rosso-Ferrari    Daniel Ricciardo  Jean-Eric Vergne 
Caterham-Renault      Charles Pic       drive available  
Marussia-Cosworth     Timo Glock        Max Chilton *      
HRT-Cosworth**        Pedro de la Rosa  drive available

* Drive not yet officially confirmed
** HRT team's future unclear
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