Two F1 drivers on Tuesday hinted strongly that, despite not yet having official confirmation, they are staying on the grid in 2012. Paul di Resta, the most successful rookie this year, was asked by F1’s official website if it is true that he will be staying at Force India next season.
“I can’t say anything,” said the Scot, ahead of boss Dr Vijay Mallya’s scheduled December 15 announcement about the Silverstone based team’s 2012 lineup.
“The only thing that I can say is that I am still working closely with the team and helping with the new car,” added di Resta.
“I will do some simulator work over the next week and hopefully by then Dr Mallya and his board will have made up their minds about their 2012 driver lineup.”
Di Resta insisted that his manager Anthony Hamilton will be working on a ‘plan B’ in case he, unlike other contenders Adrian Sutil and Nico Hulkenberg, is left out of Force India’s plans.
“I don’t think that this is something that you want to think about, but sure you have to think about a worst-case scenario — and thank goodness I have Anthony doing that for me,” he said.
Another driver expected to keep his seat next year is Jaime Alguersuari, who on Tuesday was attending an event for Toro Rosso’s main sponsor Cepsa, a Spanish oil company.
Asked by the sports newspaper AS if he has any news about whether team owner Red Bull has decided to keep him on board for 2012, the Spaniard answered: “No.
“Today I just want to enjoy this day with Cepsa, because I think their presence in F1 is great for Spain, for the sport and for Toro Rosso.”
Asked when he is expecting to find out more, he insisted: “I have no idea, it’s up to Red Bull. (It’s) definitely not (up to) me.”
Finally, Alguersuari – whose teammate Sebastien Buemi is also expected to keep his seat – was asked if a new contract would be the best Christmas present.
“First of all I ask for good health, because that’s more important than anything, but after that I want a great year for F1, to continue evolving as a team and obviously a great season ending with good results with Toro Rosso.
“I have some commitments coming up in Madrid and then Barcelona and then I will begin preparations for next season,” he added.