Adrian Sutil has responded enigmatically to questions about his future, but hinting that his options may extend beyond the obvious openings on the entry list issued earlier this week.
Although the German has not yet officially been discarded by the Force India team, the fact that he called on owner Vijay Mallya to bring forward the announcement of the 2012 line-up so that he could make alternative arrangements if necessary was taken as proof that even he felt that Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg were the likely combination. Mallya had said that he would define the line-up between the races in Abu Dhabi and Brazil, but no such announcement has been forthcoming so far.
Assuming that he is the one to be released, Sutil's options are closing fast, with the confirmation of Kimi Raikkonen and Pastor Maldonado, at Lotus Renault and Williams respectively, in the past 48 hours leaving just a handful of viable seats available. He remains many people's favourite to partner the Venezuelan at Williams, but told the official F1 website that things may not always be as they seem.
"Right now, we do have more than one option and we are trying to put the best package together for next year," he said, acknowledging the unfilled seats at Force India, Williams, Renault, Toro Rosso and HRT that appeared on the FIA list, "Hopefully, we will have a decision within the next two weeks.
"As I said, we do have more than one option… I guess we all know that sometimes the first entry list is not the last."
Sutil has done what he can to convince potential employers of his worth as an F1 driver, in particular with a stirring drive to sixth place in the season finale at Interlagos last weekend.
"To be honest, I delivered great performances at my last ten races, but obviously the last three are still more current to the onlooker," he pointed out, "For sure, these results make things easier for me and my manager to sort out the future."
He also revealed that he would object to being partnered with Raikkonen at Renault, even though there are a handful of drivers vying for the seat already.
"I always said I'm happy to have the best team mate I can get, as this is the only chance to show how good you are - and Kimi would be a great and very strong team mate," he claimed, admitting that the Finn's deal had come as no surprise, "It doesn't look too bad for 2012 - let's see what will happen."