Kobayashi thanks fans for funding help

Kamui 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."