At least two F1 drivers have admitted to looking ahead to the 2012 season with a firm eye on the future.
Paul di Resta made his grand prix debut last year as the reigning DTM champion, having driven for Mercedes in the premier German touring car series. He has been retained by Mercedes-powered Force India for 2012 but admitted he would snap up the chance to drive for the German carmaker’s works team.
“I’d love to drive for them,” he is quoted by the Daily Mail. “I’ve got great friends and great support at Mercedes-Benz. I’ve been part of their programme for six years and I’m still very close to them now.
“I never say never. Right now I am a Force India driver so the focus is there. But in the future I want to be winning races and I’ll make my decisions based on that.”
Meanwhile, as he moves from HRT to Red Bull’s rookie team Toro Rosso for 2012, Australian Daniel Ricciardo admitted he regards himself as an outside chance to replace his countryman Mark Webber for the 2013 season.
“It’s a long time away and many things can happen between now and then, that’s the reality,” he told F1’s official website. “I understand very well the philosophy of Red Bull and, yes, one day I would love to race for Red Bull Racing, but that’s all it is for now – just a bit of a goal.”