Even with Force India's 2009 driver lineup now confirmed, speculation that Paul di Resta was still in a running for a race seat raced on.

Even with Force India's 2009 driver lineup now confirmed, speculation that Paul di Resta was still in a running for a race seat raced on.

Amid speculation that the Silverstone based team's new McLaren-Mercedes alliance might influence the driver decision, Mercedes DTM driver di Resta, as well as test drivers Pedro de la Rosa and Gary Paffett, were linked with Force India.

The Vijay Mallya-led squad moved to end the rumours at the weekend by announcing officially that Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil are staying put for 2009.

Sutil responded in the German press by saying he "always felt secure" in his contract for next year.

But the British newspaper The Independent said 22-year-old di Resta, managed by Lewis Hamilton's father Anthony, is still in the running even after Force India's announcement.

"McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh is expected to lobby Mallya strongly on di Resta's behalf," the newspaper said.

Di Resta was quoted as saying: "I'm not going to say that I am definitely not in contention, my name has been bandied about. I don't know where I stand or if it is going to happen."

The Scottish newspaper The Daily Record subsequently clarified that di Resta will in fact remain in the German touring car series DTM in 2009.

"I showed in the two tests I had with McLaren that I'm capable of racing in F1 and that's ultimately where I want to be," he said.