It would seem that another contender has emerged to fill the possible vacancy – or vacancies – at Force India, with Finland’s Turun Sanomat touting Russian prodigy Mikhail Aleshin as the newest candidate.
Aleshin’s father-cum-manager, Peter, confirmed that he is in talks with the Vijay Mallya owned outfit, as well as with Lotus and Virgin Racing, as to the possibility of a race drive in 2011.
Aleshin recently took the Formula Renault 3.5 title after a season-long fight with Red Bull prodigy, Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo, and has earned the prize of a test with the Renault F1 squad at the season-ending Abu Dhabi test for young drivers.
But it would seem that Aleshin’s hopes – as would be the case for any driver trying to graduate into Formula 1 – rest on sponsorship backing, and the 23-year-old is rumoured not to have the full €15 million in backing needed to buy a seat at one of the outfits.
“Now it’s the sponsors’ turn to decide,” he told the newspaper when asked about his prospects, which could see him become the second Russian driver to join the F1 grid after Vitaly Petrov.
Aleshin is currently backed by the state-owned Gazprom energy company (which some may remember defaulted on its sponsorship of Minardi in 2003) and the Cordiant tyre manufacturer.
[Original image via AUTOSPORT]