Adrian Sutil has said that he is prepared to wait for the right deal to continue his F1 career after being ousted from the Force India line-up for 2012.
Such was his expectation that Nico Hulkenberg would be confirmed in his place alongside Paul di Resta for 2012, Sutil has been talking over possible alternatives since the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - suggesting FIF1 boss Vijay Mallya may have informed his drivers of his decision long before he told the world at large - with Williams naturally at the head of the queue for his services.
While neither team nor driver would confirm that a deal is being discussed, the Grove-based team provides the only real option for Sutil short of the German accepting a reserve driver deal with a race seat guarantee for the future. With only HRT having an obvious vacancy for nest season - Caterham F1's deal with Jarno Trulli remains the subject of speculation - the Williams option appears to be the most competitive on offer, but the German media suggests that Sutil may be looking to secure a one-year deal in a bid to keep his options open for 2013.
According to Auto Motor und Sport
, the German is being linked to none other than Ferrari once Felipe Massa's contract expires at the end of next season, although both sides refuse to confirm that possibility while the under-fire Massa prepares for what could be his final season at Maranello.
“It would be a strange tactic to give the names of those you are talking to," Sutil's manager Manfred Zimmermann told the publication,
“We will keep quiet with our various options and decide what makes the most sense.”
The 28-year old Sutil would be attractive to both Williams and HRT, even in the short-term, as he is likely to bring backing from computer company Medion, but Auto Motor und Sport
also claims that his late-season performances, notably the sixth place he secured at Interlagos, are proving a draw for the struggling teams.
“Williams is interested,” the report confirms, “and not only because of his Medion sponsor money. In the second half of the season, Sutil did a lot of good to his reputation.
“[However], Sutil would be an interesting option for Ferrari in 2013. That's why he only wants to sign for one year with Williams.”
Despite the speculation, Zimmermann insists that his client would not be rushed into making a decision.
“Adrian's future is not fixed yet, [but] we will not be making any short-term panic decisions,” he claimed, “We are not panicking, [and] have until 7 February, when the tests begin, [to make a decision].”