The Japanese 26-year-old, who has yet to confirm his own plans with the Swiss team, said in Suzuka’s pre-weekend press conference that he was sceptical about the speculation linking the seven-times world champion to a seat at Sauber.

“I don’t think that is realistic, but definitely it can work…” he said. “You have to ask Michael.

“If he really wants to come to Sauber that is a different story… I don’t think he will come to Sauber.”

Though current team-mate Sergio Perez is on his way to McLaren in 2013, Kobayashi’s chances of retaining a seat with Sauber remains unclear.

“I have no idea what I am doing, but still we have six races,” he said. “Especially Suzuka for me is important.”

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