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Kolles confirms pay-driver to complete 2011 grid

EUR 10 million would buy a driver the second race seat at HRT alongside Narain Karthikeyan.

That is the claim of Germany’s Bild newspaper, with speculation linking a handful of drivers with the last remaining place on the 2011 grid.

The report said Christian Klien, Davide Valsecchi and Pedro de la Rosa are in the running, but team boss Colin Kolles played down claims the seat is being “sold” to the highest bidder.

“No one needs to come with a suitcase full of cash.  It will be enough to have the guarantees of sponsors,” he said.

“We’re not the only ones doing that,” insisted Kolles.

Bild said the EUR 10 million dowry would represent a third of HRT’s entire budget for the season.

Another high profile ‘pay driver’ this season is Renault’s Vitaly Petrov, but as boss Eric Boullier confirms, his sponsors are not his only quality.

“My requirement (for a driver) is sporting success,” the Frenchman is quoted by autohebdo.fr.

“Of course, there is pressure from Bernie Ecclestone and (team owner) Gerard Lopez, each of them with obvious reasons concerning the conquest of new and interesting markets,” added Boullier.