Marussia has emerged as a potential destination for the McLaren-backed rookie Kevin Magnussen in 2013.
This week, Marussia team boss John Booth admitted the team would like to keep its current drivers in 2014; well-funded Max Chilton, and the Ferrari-linked Jules Bianchi.
But as the Williams-bound Pat Symonds remarked as a parting shot recently, Marussia's "hands are tied" when it comes to needing to make its driver decisions with commercial implications in mind.
Enter Magnussen, the 20-year-old son of former Danish F1 driver Jan.
|Kevin Magnussen at Silverstone. (Photo: McLaren F1 Team)|
He is the cream of McLaren's development driver programme, impressing when he drove the British team's 2013 car at the recent Silverstone test.
Boss Martin Whitmarsh said afterwards that Magnussen deserves a place on the 2014 grid.
The youngster is leading this year's Formula Renault 3.5 series, clearly ahead of the likely 2014 Toro Rosso driver Antonio Felix da Costa, and the new Sauber protegé Sergey Sirotkin.
Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said Whitmarsh wants to place Magnussen in F1 "as early as 2014, to give him a year of training without pressure".
"There are not many options," correspondent Michael Schmidt said. "One possibility would be Marussia."
McLaren already works with Marussia on the technical side, leasing its wind tunnel and simulator to the backmarker team.
Jules Bianchi was placed at Marussia this year, but Ferrari driver 'academy' chief Luca Baldisseri hinted a step into the midfield might be appropriate for the impressive French rookie for 2014.
|Jules Bianchi. (Photo: Marussia F1 Team)|
“Jules has completed the move to Formula 1 without any problems. He has become the benchmark driver for the team, gaining its confidence at the track,” said Baldisseri in an interview posted on Ferrari’s website.
“I consider it a fundamental move, especially in Formula 1. Recently we spent a bit of time together in Maranello to assess the situation. We will continue to concentrate on stress management, an aspect where he has already made great progress, even if there is still room for improvement. Clearly, currently Jules is not in a situation where he can fight in the mid-field and for the future, it will be important to know if his presence in Formula 1 will have some continuity and in that case, what could be the potential of his team.”