Wheldon still looking at F1
|By Jonathan Noble||Thursday, March 23rd 2006, 12:09 GMT|
IndyCar champion Dan Wheldon is still looking at making a move to Formula One - and insists it is top of his agenda when his current deal with Chip Ganassi Racing runs out.
The Briton was in talks with several teams last year about a third-driver role for 2006, but eventually opted to remain in the IRL after he could not get any guarantees about a race drive for 2007.
He came closest to landing a deal with the BMW-Sauber team, but rejected an offer in the end because there was no promise of a race drive.
After then signing a deal with Chip Ganassi Racing in the United States it had been thought that his career would stay in the United States, possibly with a move to NASCAR.
But speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Wheldon has made it clear that F1 remains a priority for him – and hints it will be his chief focus when he is a free agent again.
"When my contract expires with Chip, I'll take a serious look at Formula One, maybe more serious than I did this year," he said.
Wheldon told autosport.com last year that his talks with BMW-Sauber reached an advanced stage but eventually collapsed because of the lack of guarantees over the future.
"I had an offer and it wasn't a race deal to start with, it had the potential to go into a race deal," he said. "But I have always said that if I go into F1 I wanted to go with a deal I felt comfortable with.
"Being a test driver is what I wanted to be first, there is no doubt about that, and the team that offered me the deal is a team I respect greatly and I think the person at the helm of that will see the team go in the right direction.
"But I didn't feel comfortable with the race stuff and as soon as I spoke to Chip it just gave me a good vibe and I wanted to be part of his operation."