Caterham's apparent indecision over who should partner Charles Pic in its F1 line-up next year is keeping several drivers in limbo as they hope to secure a place on the 2013 grid.
Erstwhile Caterham racer Vitaly Petrov and former Toro Rosso pilot Jaime Alguersuari are both reportedly under consideration by the Leafield equipe
, as are 2012 reserve Giedo van der Garde and Williams outcast Bruno Senna, but neither has heard any more about their chances of partnering Marussia convert Pic.
Caterham is Petrov's only hope of remaining a part of the F1 firmament next season, and even that appeared unlikely mid-season as his manager, Oksana Kosachenko, claimed that the lack of interest from his native Russia was set to send her charge off in another direction. Since then, and following his pass on Pic at Interlagos that secured tenth place in the constructors' standings and the prize money that brings, Petrov now appears back in the running for the second seat.
“At the moment, all the necessary work on our part is done — and it's for Caterham to decide,” Kosachenko told sportbox.ru
, before admitting that the 28-year old had as many as five rivals for the seat.
“Last Thursday, I returned from the UK having talked for a long time [with Caterham] and changed the conditions [of a deal] to come to some conclusions. Now we are waiting for a response. There are a number of things that need to come together. The team management has changed and, therefore, so has the general attitude towards the project, as well as goals and objectives. The new leadership team needed more time to make a decision, but I assume two types of outcome – 'yes' or 'no', there can be no intermediate option.
“In terms of the exact timing of the resolution of questions, no-one has told me anything, but it is clear that it will be before pre-season testing begins. Who it will be, I cannot say and, next week, they will not deal with this issue, because Christmas Day is coming. Whether the decision was made right after it, it's difficult to say.”
Kosachenko also revealed that it was 'Caterham or bust' for Petrov, despite there also being a seat up for grabs at Force India.
“I am not talking to anyone at the other teams,” she confirmed, “We completed negotiations with one team two weeks ago, and they recently announced another driver. We have been negotiating with another team, but they to have announced a driver that it's not Petrov. So, for a variety of reasons, [we are only looking at Caterham]. You have to understand that, ultimately, we do not choose the team - the team selects a driver. It is all in the hands of Caterham now….”