Felipe Massa and Nico Hülkenberg – currently the two biggest players in the latest driver market speculation – are both confident of being able to confirm their respective 2014 futures in the coming weeks. But only one is likely to land up at Lotus…
Speaking in today’s FIA press conference ahead of the Korean Grand Prix this weekend, Massa told the assembled journalists that he had some “good opportunities” to consider in the wake of Ferrari’s decision to end his eight-year stint with the team in favour of Kimi Räikkönen.
While the Brazilian skirted around the subject of exactly which teams he had been talking to, he indicated that he would only remain in Formula 1 is he could secure a competitive seat next year.
“We’re talking with a few teams,” he said. “For the moment we are aware, I think, of some good opportunities. But it’s better to wait and say at the right time. I’m quite optimistic that I’m going to find a good direction, a good solution.
“I will not change my mind. I want to have a car that can give me some good possibilities to fight, not a car in which I would not have a chance to fight. If I have that, I’m not interested.”
Hülkenberg’s future is equally as uncertain, with the German’s position at Sauber still up in the air while the team looks to source more funding and promote Russian teenager Sergey Sirotkin to a more senior role.
Hülkenberg was under consideration for Massa’s Ferrari seat, and he has since emerged as a frontrunner – ironically in competition with the Brazilian – to take over Räikkönen’s drive with Lotus.
When asked when he hoped to confirm his 2014 plans, the German replied: “Soon; one, two, three weeks. These things take time.
“You speak to each other, you see what you come up with and it’s the usual talks. There are no issues or nothing major, but these things are a bit time consuming to finalise everything.
“[But] I’m fairly confident but I also learned my lesson in 2010 [when Williams sensationally dropped him after an impressive debut campaign in favour of Pastor Maldonado] to take nothing for granted!”