Five (now 6) drivers in queue for Albers’ seat

UPDATE Multiple drivers could fill axed Spyker racer Christijan Albers' seat for the remaining seven races in 2007.

That is the latest admission of the Dutch team's boss Colin Kolles, as speculation at the Nurburgring suggests for the first time that Renault test driver Nelson Piquet Jr – managed by Flavio Briatore – could have now entered the frame.

The son of triple world champion Nelson Piquet is competing principally with Christian Klien and Narain Karthikeyan for the drive, with Kolles telling the news agency Sport-Informations-Dienst (sid) that Spyker will select drivers who can contribute financially to the team.

"A formula one team does not live on air," he said.

Kolles said teammates for Spyker regular Adrian Sutil could even be assigned on a race-by-race basis.

"However continuity would of course be better," he acknowledged.

Underfinanced current substitute driver, the debutant Markus Winkelhock, ended Friday of the European grand prix slowest of all and – in the afternoon practice session – beached in the gravel.

07/20/07 (GMM) Complicating reports that the battle to fill axed Christijan Albers' Spyker seat had boiled down to just two drivers, team boss Colin Kolles on Thursday revealed that in fact he has "several options" to choose from.

Giving himself and the prospective drivers' more time to prepare offers and bids, Spyker's Kolles put reserve driver Markus Winkelhock into Albers' car for the Nurburgring after the departed Dutchman ran into sponsor trouble.

Kolles refused to reveal to reporters the additional names, but he said there are "approximately five" potential substitutes.

Along with favorites Christian Klien and Narain Karthikeyan, then, Spyker test driver Adrian Valles could also be in with a shout, as might Roldan Rodriguez and Winkelhock himself.

Kolles, however, clarified that a negative factor about Winkelhock's hopes is the fact that he is not substantially backed by sponsors.

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