(Reuters) - Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi says he is still hoping to get back to Formula One despite the lack of openings to drivers without significant sponsorship behind them.
“At the moment, there are many teams who prefer to choose their drivers based on how much money they can bring, rather than on their ability on track,” the former Toyota and Sauber racer told the Ferrari website (formula1.ferrari.com) after an F1 demonstration run for the Italian team in Moscow on Sunday.
“I hope this trend will change, because my aim is to be back there as soon as possible and I am working hard to succeed.”
Kobayashi, Japan’s most successful and most recent F1 driver, is competing for a Ferrari team in the world endurance championship after being dropped by Sauber at the end of last season and then launching a fund-raising campaign to try to secure a seat elsewhere.
The racer, known for his exuberant crowd-pleasing style, drove a 2009 Ferrari F60 in Sunday’s Moscow City Racing event against a backdrop of the Kremlin and St Basil’s Cathedral.
The 26-year-old was caught out on a wet track, however, and smashed the Ferrari into the barriers before skidding down the empty road on three wheels.
“The track was very slippery and there was a marked bump at that point, which is why I hit the barrier. A shame, but I am pleased the team let me out again after a few minutes (in another car),” said Kobayashi.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London; Editing by Sonia Oxley