An unconcerned Vitantonio Liuzzi has rubbished speculation swirling around the grand prix paddock that his seat at Force India F1 is under threat for 2011 – insisting that he has a firm contract for next season, and opining that if anyone makes way for Paul di Resta, it will therefore have to be team-mate Adrian Sutil.
The sport's rumour mill is currently suggesting that FIF1 is keen to promote highly-regarded test and reserve driver – and former F3 Euroseries Champion – di Resta to a race seat next year, but the question mark surrounds who the Scot will replace.
The Silverstone-based squad is known to be eager to retain the services of Adrian Sutil – who himself is understood to be holding out for the second Renault cockpit alongside Robert Kubica in 2011, or even that at Mercedes Grand Prix should compatriot Michael Schumacher elect to hang up his helmet.
Should the German indeed jump ship, then di Resta would be able to slot neatly into his place, but if he doesn't then the common school of thought is that it is Liuzzi who will have to make way, off the back of a string of inconsistent and occasionally lacklustre performances this season. The Italian, however, is adamant he is going nowhere.
“Over the weekend there were rumours that Paul di Resta has secured a seat at Force India next year,” the 29-year-old wrote in his post-Singapore Grand Prix column on ESPNF1
. “Personally, I don't know if he has a place or what his contract says, but from my understanding that would mean that Adrian is out, because I have a contract.
“The truth is that I haven't heard anything like that from inside the team and nothing has changed, so I can only assume that the stuff on TV and in the papers is a rumour. It's well-appreciated in the team that my results (in 2010) have not been my fault, and (team principal) Vijay Mallya has given me his full trust.
“In a few weeks more information will come out, but I'm not worried by the speculation in the press in the meantime. That kind of stuff is normal at this stage of the year, especially when there are rookies that people want to get into the business – more-and-more rumours are created. I don't really fear that; I just want to do the best I can for the team and secure Force India sixth in the championship.”