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d’Ambrosio, van der Garde still chasing F1 race seats

Ironically, Mignot's final comment would tend to suggest that d'Ambrosio is chasing the vacant seat at Williams, rather than HRT, which many outsiders believe that he is more likely to get. Sutil is known to have visited Williams' Grove facility before Christmas, and is listed in a group of hopefuls that also includes veteran Rubens Barrichello, former Lotus Renault pilots Bruno Senna and Vitaly Petrov and van der Garde, who shares common sponsorship ground with fashion brand McGregor.

Like d'Ambrosio, the Dutchman is preferring to keep a low profile while negotiations take place, but remains optimistic that a lengthy bid to break into the top flight will be resolved before too long.

“We are a little quiet, but we're working hard,” manager Jan-Paul ten Hoopen - who is also McGregor's commercial director - told f1today.nl, "We will let you know when there is any news."

While GP2 frontrunner van der Garde can also lean on billionaire father-in-law Marcel Boekhoorn, 2011 HRT incumbent Vitantonio Liuzzi can only wish for access to similar amounts of money.

Despite expressing a wish to remain with the Spanish minnow - and having a two-year deal, albeit one signed with the previous ownership - the Italian appears to be on the verge of losing his seat to a better-funded rival, with d'Ambrosio, Petrov and Senna rumoured to be chasing the seat alongside veteran returnee Pedro de la Rosa.

According to Belgium's La Libre newspaper, which quotes HRT technical director Jacky Eeckelaert, Liuzzi has not seized the chance to cement his place on the grid for 2012, despite occasionally helping HRT punch above its weight last season.

“He hasn't really confirmed himself after several chances, [and] we are looking more for a young driver with a lot of potential,” Eeckalaert explained, before going on to rule out the likes of Barrichello and a host of Spanish talent, including Jaime Alguersuari and Dani Clos, currently being linked to the soon-to-be Valencia-based squad.

“I don't think it's in the interests of the team to have a second Spanish driver,” he said, "and the same goes for the drivers approaching retirement.”

While his Russian backers may be of interest to HRT - despite its desire to be seen as having a greater Spanish aura this season - Petrov continues to be mentioned in connection with two seats that currently appear to be occupied.

The former Lotus Renault pilot has been linked to both Jarno Trulli's Caterham ride and the lead Marussia entry of Glock, despite both having apparently inked extensions to their contracts last summer.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
08.09.2011- Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Lotus Renault GP, R31 and Bruno Senna (BRA), Lotus Renault GP R31
08.05.2011- Race, Adrian Sutil (GER), Force India F1 Team, VJM04 and Rubens Barrichello (BRA), Williams FW33
25.03.2011- Friday Practice 2, Narain Karthikeyan (IND), Hispania Racing F1 Team, HRT and Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA), Hispania Racing F1 Team, HRT
26.11.2011- Saturday Practice, Pastor Maldonado (VEN), Williams FW33
26.11.2011- Saturday Practice, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), HRT Formula One Team
2011 GP2 Series - Giedo Van der Garde (NED, Barwa Addax Team). [Picture credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
10.11.2011- Jerome D`Ambrosio (BEL), Marussia Virgin Racing VR-02
12.11.2011- Saturday Practice, Jerome D`Ambrosio (BEL), Marussia Virgin Racing VR-02
22.06.2017 - Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
22.06.2017 - Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
22.06.2017 - Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
11.06.2017- Race, Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
11.06.2017- Race, Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
11.06.2017- Race, Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
11.06.2017- Race, Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
11.06.2017- Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW40
11.06.2017- Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW40  after the crash
11.06.2017- Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW40  after the crash

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Josh - Unregistered

January 11, 2012 7:11 PM

Now on topic: I'd really love to see D'Ambrosio racing at Williams this year. I think he did a stellar job at Virgin in 2011, having been ahead of Glock in the standings for almost the entire year. The difficult thing about being in one of the current rear-end teams is that even if your performance is great, they don't seem to serve as a very good stepping stone into bigger teams. It's either be retained, or be rejected.

stevyweavy - Unregistered

January 11, 2012 12:56 PM

Just get on with it. Have an open auction and let the various parties bid against one another the highest bidders gets the seats. That is what seems to be happening behind closed doors anyway - or is transparency to novel an approach? When the decisions are made they are not going to be able to say they made their decision based on talent - unless they want to be laughed at by everybody.

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