After the long summer break, formula one has regrouped at Spa-Francorchamps to discover the ‘silly season’ in a higher gear than ever.
Having earlier suggested he might stay with Sauber in 2013, Sergio Perez has suddenly been quoted by a Spanish newspaper as saying Ferrari is "obviously" an option. "The possibility is there," he told Diario Sport, when asked about the Felipe Massa situation. "Everyone wants to be there (Ferrari), but I have no hurry. If I don’t change teams now, it doesn’t matter. I am so happy with the trust Sauber have put in me." Whether Massa stays or goes is a key to the 2013 market. Germany’s authoritative Auto Motor und Sport reported rumours that Nico Hulkenberg has signed a memorandum of understanding with the great Italian team.
Asked directly if he is replacing Massa, Hulkenberg answered: "Who says Massa is going?" Asked the same question again, Hulkenberg once again did not issue a clear denial. "There are many other drivers who have been mentioned as well. Why do you say (it is) me?"
Also stalling the market at the moment is Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher, who repeated at Spa that the paddock should not expect his decision until October. "That’s far too late," former driver and German pundit Christian Danner told spox.com. "The teams can’t wait that long." One keen observer of the whole situation is Karun Chandhok, who is hoping to put his grand prix ambitions back on track in 2013. He told the Times of India that if Schumacher returns to retirement, Paul di Resta would be a candidate to replace him at Mercedes. "So there is a possibility of a seat opening up with Force India," he said. And with the ‘silly season’ in full swing, a notable face in the Spa paddock this weekend is the Silverstone based team’s former driver Adrian Sutil. "I think there are some opportunities to come back (to F1)," he told the German broadcaster Sky.
Also hoping for a race seat next year is Williams’ reserve driver Valtteri Bottas, who according to Finland’s MTV3 has been asked by the British team to put together some sponsorship to compete with Bruno Senna’s millions. "Some gestures from Finland would help him a lot," said Toto Wolff, who is not only a Williams shareholder and executive director, but also 22-year-old Bottas’ manager.
Info: GMM, Image: Sauber Motorsport AG