Tiago Monteiro has admitted that his focus ahead of the 2007 Formula One season remains on retaining his place alongside Christijan Albers in the Spyker MF1 team for another year.
Albers position with the squad was never really in doubt after the Dutch car maker purchased the team from the Midland group back in September, the future of Monteiro appeared less secure – with numerous drivers hopeful of clinching the seat for the new season.
However, having admitted that he had explored different avenues for 2007, Monteiro told Crash.net
that his main aim was to stay with the team he has been part of for the last three years, in which time it has changed from Jordan through to its current guise.
“We are still talking to other teams, but may main aim remains to secure the final seat at Spyker,” the Portuguese driver admitted. “Since Brazil, things have evolved quite a lot and are looking better and better but it takes time because there are so many details to finalise. There probably won't be any testing for Spyker until January so there is no rush from both sides to finalise things, we want to have everything clear. We aren't really rushing things and are in talks every two or three days so I think in a few days or weeks we will have confirmation of something.”
Since Spyker took over the running of the team, numerous drivers have given their chance to impress – including GP2 runners Alex Premat and Ernesto Viso – but Monteiro added that he wasn't concerned about new drivers being time behind the wheel.
“There are always lots of drivers interested and putting you under pressure as it is the last seat available, but the Spyker owners have already expressed an interest in securing my services for next year and aren't looking at anyone else at the moment as a driver,” he said. “Of course they need test drivers so there will still be discussions with other drivers for that seat.
“For me, it's a bit like Christijan's seat. Spyker is in contact with some companies in Portugal that we put them in contact with and they are dealing with that. I will be a paid driver by the team and they are doing their job to secure what they can from some contacts in Portugal. We have also opened some doors in other countries for them and the more they find, the better it is for all of us as the bigger the budget, the more interesting it is for the team.”