Austrian Auer, who is F1 legend Gerhard Berger’s nephew, is personally sponsored by BWT, the company who convinced Force India to paint its cars pink for 2017.
The 22-year-old is also partly supported by Force India’s engine supplier Mercedes, whose boss Toto Wolff said: “If he’s in a car in Hungary, or a Force India, it’s not up to us to communicate that.”
Wolff’s reference to Hungary is the post-grand prix ‘young drivers test’, set to take place after the Budapest race early in August.
Force India is still not confirming the news about Auer, however.
“When we are ready to announce something, I am sure you will be happy,” said Force India sporting boss Otmar Szafnauer.
“We are impressed with Lucas — he is doing a great job in DTM,” he told APA news agency.
Szafnauer denied that a test for Auer would simply be due to his connections with BWT, the team’s main sponsor.
“It must be a combination,” he said. “If he is a good driver, and it is someone who we want to see how he goes in a formula one car, we give them the opportunity.
“If it is Lucas, you can be sure that it is not just a commercial deal,” he added.