Date: 18th October 2013 at 10:37am
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British drivers Paul Di Resta and Max Chilton both face uncertain futures at Force India and Marussia.

Whilst Paul Di Resta is seen as one of the best drivers with potential in the paddock, it isn’t certain that Force India will use their option to retain him for the 2014 Formula One season.

The 27-year-old remains in limbo as the team weigh up possible options for next season.

That could involve the return of former driver Nico Hulkenberg, who is still a possibility as he is yet to confirm his future with current team Sauber or Lotus who he has also held talks with.

Another problem for Di Resta could be the weight limitations the teams face next season with the increase in weight from the power units that the new engines and Energy Recovery Systems.

If Force India are having weight issues, it might be easy to look elsewhere for another driver, while the option of bringing in a pay-driver would also soften the blow of losing Di Resta.

‘It’s difficult to know what will happen. There are a lot of drivers in the sport with money and a lot of teams that need money,’ Di Resta’s manager Richard Goddard told the BBC.

‘That is probably the biggest issue, that it is not just outright talent that gets you a seat in the car any more.

‘Unfortunately, Paul doesn’t have a government-backed scheme or a rich billionaire standing behind him.’


Another driver who could fall foul of the current landscape in Formula One is Max Chilton.

The 22-year-old Brit is out-of-contract at the end of the season as his debut season in Formula One comes to an end with Marussia.

As debut seasons go in the newbie cars at the back of the grid, Chilton has impressed despite being regularly out performed by Ferrari development driver Jules Bianchi, who has signed a new deal with Marussia for 2014.

Marussia are switching to Ferrari engines and power trains for next season and while the Bianchi deal is completely separate, it does help to keep these partnerships well oiled.

Another crucial and important partnership deal that Marussia depend on is their technical operation deal with McLaren.

That deal could open the door for 21-year-old Danish driver Kevin Magnussen, who is part of McLaren’s young driver programme.

Magnussen is set to clinch this year’s Formula Renault 3.5 Series championship and according to Sky Sports, McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh would like to see him make the step-up to Formula One next season.

Marussia’s Sporting Director Graeme Lowdon confirmed he was an option for next season: ‘Like any team that hasn’t confirmed drivers, there are a number of possibilities, Certainly Kevin has impressed in the tests he has done, and as a team that has brought young drivers into Formula One, he is in the frame.

But the link doesn’t mean that Chilton’s fledgling F1 career is already over as he does remain an option.

‘Max is definitely an option because on the driving side he is doing a really good job, There has been real progress in a number of areas, and he has formed part of a tightly-knit team.

‘We’re really quite keen to see continuity for next year because of the big technical change.

‘If we decide to retain the current line-up it would be the first time we go into a new season with two drivers with some experience, so there’s something to be said for that.

 

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