Despite the team insisting that it was likely to downsize to run just a single car for Paul Tracy this season, Jos Verstappen insists that he is in contention for a seat at Forsythe Championship Racing.
The former F1 pilot made the claim in his regular column for Dutch newspaper Der Telegraaf, but explained that nothing was certain until financial deals had been put in place. And, while he believes that his management team had found the funding he requires for the seat, Verstappen admitted that he was not the only driver trying to persuade Forsythe to run a second car alongside Tracy's.
"As far as I'm concerned, I'll be driving for Forsythe Racing," Verstappen said, scotching speculation that he would be leading Paul Stoddart's Minardi Team USA operation in 2007, "Unfortunately, that's not for me to decide. The team wants a certain amount of money for the seat - and we can put up that money - [but] there's no deal yet because there's another driver fishing for that seat... who is willing to pay more money for the same seat."
While not naming names, Verstappen insisted that he wanted to be on track during next week's test at Houston MSR as he has yet to run in the all-new Panoz DP01.
"It's crucial for me to act soon," he said, "I told my manager I want to be sure if I'm going to race this season before those tests. I'm not saying this to pressure Forsythe, [but] I don't want to enter the season unprepared. Champs Cars tests only four days before the season kicks off and, if I can't test all four days, I won't race Champ Cars."
The internet rumour mill has suggested that Verstappen's rival for the Forsythe seat could be fellow Dutchman Robert Doornbos, who now has his sights set on a Champ Car ride having agreed testing terms with Red Bull Racing in F1. Fellow Red Bull prot?g? Neel Jani is already ensconced at PKV and Doornbos, like Verstappen, had been strongly tipped to link up with former Minardi F1 boss Stoddart, who bought into the HVM team late last year.
Should neither man join Stoddart, it could open the door for Katherine Legge - another with previous Minardi 'experience' - or one or both of HVM's 2006 pilots, Nelson Philippe and Dan Clarke, neither of whom have announced deals for 2007.