Pedro de la Rosa has admitted it is highly unlikely that he will race in Formula 1 this season after ruling out a deal with HRT, the last team believed to have a vacancy.
The 39-year-old Spaniard was replaced at Sauber by Nick Heidfeld for the last five races of the 2010 season, and took over Pirelli's testing duties from the German. He has been looking for a return to racing for this year, but says it will not be with HRT.
"HRT is, for me, not an option," he told AUTOSPORT. "I don't know what the future will be. I'm trying to find a race drive in Formula 1 as always – I will never give up.
"Pirelli is planning to do some more testing during the year. I don't know, possibly I will be running with Pirelli, a race drive somewhere, or a reserve role in Formula 1. The next few weeks will be quite important for my future."
De la Rosa says he would consider returning to a test or reserve driver role, such as the one he held at McLaren from 2003-'09, and believes his knowledge of the Pirelli tires makes him a valuable asset for a top team.
"The test driver role would be interesting, wherever a serious team needs one," he said. "Obviously, there is not much testing now, so you have to look into the teams that have simulators and are taking the reserve driver seriously.
"One of my strong assets is that I have been able to do the Pirelli testing, so I am fresh, I know a little bit about the tires as well. More importantly, I raced last year. As the reserve driver, if you have to step into a car you have to be prepared.
"I look forward to Pirelli increasing the testing during the year because that would mean there are more test days available for me. If anything comes up, fine. If not, I am happy to stay with Pirelli."