David Coulthard has backed his countryman Paul di Resta as the ideal replacement for Michael Schumacher.
Recent reports have suggested Coulthard's former rival Schumacher, who races for Mercedes, could return to retirement next year after a disappointing two-season F1 comeback.
Scot di Resta, currently a race rookie for Mercedes-powered Force India, is the front-runner for the seat.
"Unquestionably for me that would be the perfect scenario," 13-time Grand Prix winner Coulthard, also a Red Bull consultant and BBC commentator, told stv.tv.
"Not that I want to force Michael out of the sport but when he decides to retire, whether it is this year, next year or whenever, Paul has a good relationship with Mercedes."
Force India boss Vijay Mallya has said he is keen to hold on to di Resta, who retains strong links with Mercedes after winning the DTM title with the German giant last year.
"Of course, Force India have desires to be a winning team in the future but, realistically, he (di Resta) has got to make tough decisions and try and fast-track himself into the best car possible," said Coulthard.
Hulkenberg happy to wait for Force India decision
Nico Hulkenberg says he is happy for now to wait until mid December to know if he will be on the 2012 grid.
Force India boss Vijay Mallya said recently he will decide around December 15 about the Silverstone based team's race driver line-up for next season.
Chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer was quoted on Friday as saying reserve driver Hulkenberg, as well as current racers Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta, are in the running for the two seats.
It is rumoured however that German Hulkenberg, 23, was only lured to the team - after being ousted by Williams last year - on the promise that he will be back on the grid in 2012.
"Of course you can never be 100 percent sure," Hulkenberg told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, "until you have been confirmed officially.
"But based on the feedback from the team which has been really good, I am very confident. They have said they are very happy with me," he added.
"Vijay has already said that he will announce the decision about the drivers on December 15, so us drivers will know a few days before that.
"Of course I would prefer to find out sooner, but it doesn't matter, I just have to wait and stay calm," he said.
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