Paul di Resta is now on pole position to replace Felipe Massa at Ferrari next year, Italian La Stampa newspaper correspondent Stefano Mancini claims. Previously, it was believed the Scot's current F...
Previously, it was believed the Scot's current Force India teammate Nico Hulkenberg was the most likely candidate, having reportedly even signed some sort of pre-agreement.
But Brazilian Massa also appears well and truly in the frame, sounding confident he will keep his seat when speaking to reporters at Suzuka on Thursday.
But La Stampa's Mancini said "the likely replacement" for Massa is 26-year-old di Resta, who admitted in Japan to being disappointed about missing the McLaren seat to Sergio Perez.
"The decisions have been taken for obvious commercial reasons," di Resta, who is managed by Jenson Button's management arm, is quoted by the Sun newspaper.
"I have always said I want to be winning races and when I get the chance to do that then I'll grab it with both hands."
So for the moment, even with Hamilton and Schumacher's futures now clear, the 'silly season' remains in full swing.
"Everybody is a competitor, each vying for his opportunity," Hulkenberg, who has also been linked with Sauber, is quoted by German media on Thursday.
"The events of the last week created a lot of movement in the driver market," said the German. "Of course I want to know what's happening now, not in three months.
"There should be clarity in a few weeks, but nothing is decided yet," added Hulkenberg.
When asked if he is sure he will be on the grid in 2013, he answered emphatically: "Yes."