Confirmation this week that there was no seat for him at Sauber means that Kamui Kobayashi is looking at an uncertain future in F1 in 2013.
After the team confirmed that Esteban Gutierrez would join Nico Hulkenberg in the team in 2013, Kobayashi said on Friday that he would try to find a new race seat and was also seeking sponsors. The Japanese driver was also promoting a new website, Kamui-Support.com
, that he hopes might help him crowdsource financial sponsorship to attract a new team. (See separate story
Ahead of Sunday's 2012 F1 Grand Prix of Brazil in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Kobayashi revealed that he was already in discussions with at least one team on the F1 grid.
"I'm talking with another team," he said. "It's no surprise: Sauber announced another driver and so I talk to another team. This is normal ... If I don't talk then I'm retired - just like that!"
Kobayashi insisted that he wasn't holding any grudges over the team's decision to let him go.
"This is a job, you know, it's not a relationship that's personal. I'm here for the job," he explained. "I'm getting money from the team, so I need to work in the proper way until the last ... I just want to work with this team, and I just want to say goodbye.
"I'm not disappointed. I know I need a sponsor - one that's got money - to run with a team," he admitted. "I'm working very hard to get sponsors, hopefully time is not too late.
"After I get this [sponsorship], I can work with another team. It's too early to say for me but I've been trying," he added.
Kobayashi indicated that he wasn't looking outside of F1, brushing aside suggestions that he might race at Le Mans by saying that he was "not really much interested about that. I want to be in F1."
Nor was he keen on reverting to a test driver role in 2013.
"It's not easy to wait around for 20 races, you know?" he said. "The travelling is getting really tiring and if you stay here without driving, it's like I'm in jail."
But such questions are for tomorrow: as for Sunday, the only thing that mattered was a successful final Grand Prix with Sauber at Interlagos.
"I'll try to do my best," he said. "And [then] we'll see what we can do for the future."