We had reported earlier this month that van der Garde’s manager, Jan Paul ten Hoopen, revealed he had held talks with several F1 teams on behalf of his client, and received “serious offers” from two of the outfits, claimed by former F1 driver Jos Verstappen to be Lotus and Virgin Racing.
And now Dutch magazine Formule1.nl is reporting that ten Hoopen has had “extensive talks” with key figures at Virgin Racing, who are believed to be seeking another well-funded driver to partner Timo Glock next season and to replace Lucas di Grassi.
Also speculated as candidates for the role include fellow GP2 pilots Jérôme d’Ambrosio – who is the team’s ‘Man Friday’ for the remainder of the season – and Johnny Cecotto Jr.
What is particularly interesting is that ten Hoopen is also the commercial director for the Dutch fashion brand McGregor, which is ceasing its sponsorship deal of the Williams squad at the end of the season.
Furthermore, van der Garde’s father-inlaw, Marcel Boekhoorn, is also a major shareholder of McGregor.
When asked as to his prospects of a Formula 1 drive next season, van der Garde answered: “It’s a possibility.
“I’ve only heard that we are talking; I have no idea if it will come to a deal. That is my management’s job.
“Drivers are often the last to know,” he added. “I only know that they are working on it and I hear there have been some meetings.”
[Original image via Sutton Images]