Kamui Kobayashi says he is working to try and secure the funding needed to stay at Sauber next year.
The Swiss team is understood to have discussed a potential deal for 2013 with Kobayashi during the Korean Grand Prix weekend, but that it would involve him raising some sponsorship backing. Kobayashi, who finished on the podium in the Japanese Grand Prix, admitted on arrival in India on Thursday he is aware that his chances of securing a drive depend on him finding a sponsor.
"After Suzuka and Korea I wanted to celebrate, but there was no time to celebrate. I had to work to get a sponsor," Kobayashi said. "This is the situation. Normally for a top team it doesn't matter, as they have a big budget, but for the lesser teams they need some budget because it's a different system. This is what I have to understand."
Kobayashi insists, however, that his main focus remains on the current season and on helping Sauber overcome Mercedes in the championship.
"We need to fight for more championship points and this is key. At the moment I think I need to focus more on this season and then we'll see."
Sauber is 20 points behind Mercedes in the constructors' championship with four races to go, and Kobayashi feels his team can still beat its rival.
"It's difficult to say, but I believe we can do it," said the Japanese driver. "I don't know what I need to do, but even one or two points are very important. But 20 points in four races is not too bad.
"They have a big budget, so maybe for them it's much easier. But for us is not something we have a lot. We don't plan to have a lot of updates for the rest of the season."