Pedro de la Rosa and Alexander Wurz have emerged as the leading contenders to race alongside an American rookie at the new Team US F1 next year, AUTOSPORT has learned.
Although the American-based outfit had considered running two American drivers for its debut campaign in 2010, the team believes it will be better placed slotting in an experienced racer to help its development phase.
It is understood that the team is already in talks with both de la Rosa and Wurz, whose vast experience of testing and racing would be of huge use to US F1.
De la Rosa's contract as a McLaren test driver runs out at the end of this year, and the Spaniard is also in talks with Campos Grand Prix about a race seat there.
Wurz will also be free of his test deal with Brawn GP at the end of this year and, on the back of efforts to get his Team Superfund on the grid in 2010, he thinks a tie up with US F1 could make sense off the track as well as on it. US F1 is expected to announce imminently that YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley is to become an investor in the team.
Speaking about a US F1 deal, Wurz said: "Peter Windsor [US F1 sporting director] talked to me about the possibility of driving for them as they have limited time for testing and would need an experienced driver.
"I know their first priority is US drivers but if they really want me I would be interested in this task to build a new franchise from scratch and help them with my input."
US F1 is considering its options in terms of an American driver, with Formula Atlantic driver Jonathan Summerton one of the leading contenders to be given an F1 chance.