Sauber F1 looks set to keep its existing drivers in 2017.
Although Marcus Ericsson is closely linked with the Swiss team’s new group of owners, the Swede had indicated he was interested in the Force India seat.
But with Esteban Ocon now confirmed in that role, Ericsson said in Brazil: “As long as nothing is signed, I can’t tell you anything.
“But it’s clear that there are not so many choices.
“I have already said that the team is moving in the right direction, a lot of good peopling are coming in, so for me Sauber remains a very attractive option,” he added.
As for Ericsson’s teammate Felipe Nasr, there are reports of potential trouble with his main backer, Banco do Brasil.
However, the doors at Force India and Renault have closed on him as well, and he said at Interlagos: “I have always kept the door open here at Sauber.”
It is fairly clear that Haas is not an option for Nasr, with Kevin Magnussen set to be confirmed alongside Romain Grosjean as soon as this weekend.
Nasr, however, said he is not expecting clarity on his own future in Brazil.
“I think we have enough people taking care of my future,” he told the Brazilian press at Interlagos. “Monday we will get back to thinking about it because I don’t think an announcement is expected before that.
“I don’t have any fear of not being here (in F1),” Nasr added, “although in this life nothing is 100 per cent.”
It is looking less positive for Esteban Gutierrez, with the Mexican confirming his departure from Haas.
If he stays in F1, it is expected that replacing Ocon at Manor is his best option rather than returning to Sauber.
“I’m not exactly sure what the situation is there (Sauber), so we have to see.
“Am I worried? Yes and no. Whatever happens, I don’t change as a person, it’s just life goes on.”
Fellow Mexican Sergio Perez said it would be a shame if Gutierrez leaves F1.
“He showed good speed,” said the Force India driver, “but the results did not meet expectations.
“He may get another chance in formula one or another series, and I wish him all the best because he’s a talented driver,” added Perez.
Sauber team boss Monisha Kaltenborn said she hopes the Swiss team’s decision can be made before the end of the season.
“We will do as we do every year: look at our options and what is best for the team,” she is quoted by Speed Week. “Sometimes it’s faster and sometimes it’s slower, but my goal is still to announce the drivers during the season.”