Pastor Maldonado is in advanced talks with Sauber about a 2014 Formula 1 deal, as he weighs up rival offers from Force India and Lotus.
Following his Williams split, the Venezuelan had been most strongly linked with a move to Lotus, after the team singled him out as its main target if an investment deal with Quantum Motorsports did not come off. Amid growing doubts about the status of the Quantum deal, which has not yet been completed, Maldonado has been considering other options and is now being targeted by Sauber.
At the Brazilian Grand Prix, Maldonado said that the only certainty he had was of being in F1 next year, as he made it clear a Lotus seat was no certainty.
“I really hope to have confirmation quite soon, but I don’t have any hurry,” he said. “We are working on it. It could be hours, days or even more. I hope to get 100 percent on the negotiations.
“Sometimes when you are negotiating, it takes some time. It has taken some time but it is quite clear that I will be in F1, it is quite clear where, and everything. We will see.”
Although Lotus is currently the fastest of the teams that Maldonado is talking to, he reckons that both Sauber and Force India have equally good potential for 2014.
“Lotus is a good option, but even Sauber is a good option, even Force India is a good option,” he said. “They have shown that they are very competitive. Force India has been more competitive than McLaren this year at the beginning. I think all of them have good potential for the future. We all know very well who has available seats and we will see.”
When asked if the financial situation at Lotus would be a factor in his decision, he said: “It could be, yes. When you evaluate a team, you evaluate everything, the background, sponsor situation, everything, not only the car.”