Japanese racer Kamui Kobayashi is prepared to refund his supporters should he fail to secure a seat on the 2014 Formula One grid, having raised over $1.8m through donations in order to prolong his career in the sport.
Kobayashi raced for Toyota and Sauber between 2009 and 2012, but he was dropped by the Swiss team at the end of last season in favor of Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez. This year, he has been working with Ferrari as part of their endurance racing programme, but he is still determined to return to F1.
“Personally speaking, I want to come back in Formula One next year,” Kobyashi explained on his website. “And today, there is one thing I want to be clear about “Kamui Support” [the donation drive]. All of the donations to “Kamui Support” have not been used at all this year, because this was purely for an F1 seat.
“And if I don’t need to use them for next year’s F1 seat, I want to return them to all whom made donations.”
This is an incredibly noble gesture of Kobayashi, although he is still focusing on his commitments with Ferrari, having spent a weekend with the team in Monaco.
“I will put all of my effort for the jobs Scuderia Ferrari offered to me and hoping to give you good news as soon as possible. So, I wish you all the best and keep supporting me.”
Known for his banzai style of driving, Kobayashi’s possible comeback will split the opinions of fans and critics, but he is determined to return to the premier class of motorsport next season.