Spanish media reports today that Virgin reserve driver Andy Soucek is negotiating an early end to his contract with Richard Branson’s team. Soucek claims that his contract included some Friday outings, and that the team will not honor this clause during what’s left of the 2010 F1 season.
Though Soucek is well-known in GP2 circles to be short of significant budgets, maybe his new-found media attention as a result of his F1 presence has landed him some cash to keep his racing career moving forward. Soucek is a very keen and smart communicator, and has leveraged his short-lived F1 fame to the max, with a strong PR effort that has even landed him commentator duties during F1 races in Spanish TV’s La Sexta.
Since the article cites possible GP2 drives, this could make sense, as Andy can surely scrap together enough budget for the 3 races left this season, probably hoping to raise his game and potentially land some sort of role in the 2011 F1 season. Open seats now include mainly the injured Kral (Super Nova), Bianchi (ART) and maybe Tung (DAMS). Also, the second Arden seat held by Rodolfo Gonzalez is probably up for grabs as well.
Soucek has driven for Super Nova before, but his true “opportunity” would be with ART, albeit for Spa and Monza only. Though Bianchi is rumored to be attempting a comeback for Spa, both the Belgian track and Monza are both quite dangerous. Also, piecing together Nicolas Todt’s statement on Pastor Maldonado’s F1 future, it is easy to read in-between the lines that Bianchi still has another GP2 season ahead of him next year.
I hadn’t put Soucek on my list of ART candidates… but just maybe, the seat could already be his.