Adrian Sutil, widely tipped to partner Paul di Resta at Force India next season, says he is free to return to F1 following his conviction for GBH.
The German, who was fined 200,000 euros and handed an 18-month suspended sentence, is favourite to replace Nico Hulkenberg at the Silverstone-based outfit. However, there were fears his criminal conviction for an attack on Eric Lux might mean him being refused access to some countries, particularly China where the original incident took place. Not so, says the German.
"We checked of course," he told the Race of Champions website at the weekend, "me and my management - we checked all the countries and there's no problem for me to travel, so that's why I'm also here in Bangkok without any trouble! So all the problems I had last winter are solved, it's a new beginning."
Asked about the speculation linking him his old team, he insisted that despite all the talk nothing has been finalised as yet. "Once I've got the signature! It's the signature is what counts.
"They know who I am," he continued, "they know how to work with me so in the last five years we've got a lot of experience. There's nothing too much to say, it's all up to Vijay; it's Vijay's decision and hopefully he will make the right one so that I am in the car!
"It's hard, what can I do? Five years I was in this team so they know how good I am, they know my qualities, so I'm not the one who has gone to this team and said "please, please give me the drive", I think they also should come to me and say "Yes, we want you" and that's a good base. So I want to drive for this team but they should also want me as a driver, so that's why I'm quite relaxed. I know how to handle this situation; I did the maximum I could do at the moment and now it's all up to them to decide if I'm in the seat or not."