Jerome d'Ambrosio has vowed to do everything he can to remain in Formula One, but he knows he faces stiff competition to regain a race seat.
After making his debut with Marussia during the 2011 season, the Belgian was forced to settle for a reserve driver role at Lotus this year. He did get a taste of the action, though, as he replaced the suspended Romain Grosjean at the Italian Grand Prix.
Like all drivers on the sidelines, d'Ambrosio is eager to return to the grid next year but there are not too many vacant seats left as Marussia, Caterham and Force India are the only teams who still have to confirm their full line-ups.
However, the 26-year-old says he has not given up hope of making a return next year.
"Not everything is confirmed yet. We're still working on it," he told Autosport. "It's tough. We'll see what happens. Time will tell.
"With the season finished, the remaining people who have everything in their hands will take their decisions.
"It's very difficult. There are a lot of drivers out there without seats. Some experienced ones, some less experienced ones.
"All I can say is that I really love Formula 1, I loved being on the grid last year even if it was not in a top car. I enjoyed being in the car at Monza very much. It's what I love to do and I will fight to stay in Formula 1 as long as I can."
D'Ambrosio, though, also knows the importance of getting mileage under his belt, saying he could look elsewhere if he doesn't secure a seat.
"We will see at the time," he said. "For sure it's difficult not to be driving. If I have to do another year as a third driver, then we will see what I can do."