Not sure if this has been mentioned elsewhere on the site, but according to an article on Autosport, fans of Kamui Kobayashi have set up a fund and collectively raised over £500,000 worth of support for him, towards securing a drive in F1 for 2013.
For me, seeing him on the podium in Japan, tears in his eyes while the (usually very reserved) Japanese crowd chanted his name, was one of the greatest moments of the 2012 season, and brought a genuine lump to my throat.
Hopefully this outpouring of support will show sponsors and teams the value of his popularity in promoting their brands. His ability behind the wheel shouldn’t be in question really, and frankly it’s a sad day that a very decent driver loses his drive for purely financial reasons. Money should never be valued above talent when it comes to drivers, since you can’t achieve success without a combination of the two.
@Asanator I agree. He’s a great driver, but no better than a lot of others. He didn’t set the world on fire either and while it’s a shame to see him go, it’s not like Alonso has to leave the sport because he has no sponsor money.