As F1 prepares for the final race of the 2013 season this weekend in Brazil the merry-go round that is the driver market is still in full swing.
With several seats still up for grabs and three drivers in contention the question of where Nico Hulkenberg, Pastor Maldonado and Sergio Perez will be racing next year remains high on the agenda.
With Lotus’s tie-up with Quantum looking less likely by the hour Pastor Maldonado looks the most likely option to replace the already departed Kimi Raikkonen, however, talk around the paddock in Interlagos is Sergio Perez will now join the Enstone team.
“It’s not only them,” Perez said to reporters. “There are quite a number of options and I can say right now it is looking better than it was looking one week ago.”
“There are always rumours around,” the Mexican added. “And rumours sometimes go faster than the cars.”
Despite that Perez says he is 95% certain he will be on the F1 grid next year.
“I am pretty convinced that in one year’s time I will probably tell you that it was the best thing that could have happened to me to leave McLaren,” he was quoted on Thursday by F1′s official website.
As for Maldonado it was believed his $40m in backing from Venezuelan oil giant PDVSA would have him top of the Lotus list, but in Brazil he hinted that backing may no longer be there.
“For sure they’ve been supporting me for a while but maybe they don’t want to continue,” he said.
“Maybe yes, maybe not.”
It certainly raised a few eyebrows among those in the paddock that Lotus would consider Maldonado over Hulkenberg with money not a part of the package, though the Williams driver is a former GP winner.
The German himself suggested there was the possibility a lack of money could see him without a seat in 2014 however from further talk in Sao Paulo a two-year contract with Force India is on the table.
And Hulkenberg has received a strong boost after the driver most say is the best on the calendar, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, gave his backing to the German.
“He (Hulkenberg) is one of the best guys in the field,” the Spaniard is quoted by SID news agency, “and not just in the last few weeks.
“He really has a great talent,” Alonso added.
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