We’re dipping a bit into the rumor mill, but that’s what this time of year is all about.
And as is pretty typical, it seems right now there is somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 drivers with race seats for the 2011 Formula 1 season. And, no, you are right — there aren’t 30 spots.
The latest name to be promoting himself into a seat is a Russian, but not Vitaly Petrov. Although it is true that Petrov seems ever more secure in his Renault seat, though not fully secure as of today. (Which does mean you can take that spot off the table, more or less.)
Now it is Mikhail Aleshin, who apparently brings about the magic 10 to 15 million euros with him. He’s claiming to Russian media that he has a spot with a smaller team. Could that be Lotus or Virgin or even Force India? Any chance of HRT? The first trio are the ones with whom he’s been said to be speaking. How does he fit at Force India? Would Lotus really drop Jarno Trulli — who a few days ago said he was already working on next year’s car — for a pay driver?
Maybe we should put our money on Virgin. About three weeks ago the team announced its long-term salvation via Russian car-maker Marussia. Apparently that hasn’t been one of Aleshin’s sponsors in the past, but maybe that’s changed?
The other drivers still pumping themselves up for a ride include, at the least, Karun Chandhok, Paul di Resta, Lucas di Grassi (probably on the outside looking in) and Pastor Maldonado (we’re waiting on that, huh?). As noted above, both Trulli and Petrov are hinting they are retaining their spots. And Nico Hulkenberg is out there, too.
You know whose name I don’t seem to be hearing? Bruno Senna’s. One and done do you suppose?