Vitaly Petrov and Giedo van der Garde are the keys to the remaining seats on the 2012 driver market. That is the claim of Finland’s Turun Sanomat, revealing that the management of Russian Petrov – ousted by Lotus/Renault – has been in talks with Toro Rosso, Williams, Marussia and HRT.
It is believed that, given the fact he had a year to run on his existing contract, Lotus must have had to pay Petrov in full for the 2012 season. On top of that money, he has two years of F1 racing experience now in the bag, and at least EUR 10 million in other sponsorship to offer. His manager Oksana Kosachenko has revealed that his future should be clear within the next ten days.
Dutch GP2 driver van der Garde, meanwhile, has had a low profile on the 2012 driver market, but very real sponsorship to offer a potential employer. His manager Jan Paul ten Hoopen doubles as the commercial director of the fashion house McGregor, and his father-in-law is the billionaire Marcel Boekhoorn.
Turun Sanomat said he is the frontrunner to be Pedro de la Rosa’s teammate at HRT.