Luca Filippi believes it is unlikely he will sign a deal in time to start the IZOD IndyCar Series season as he continues to work toward a full-time ride with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
The Italian, who finished as runner-up to Romain Grosjean in GP2 last year, has been chasing an IndyCar drive all winter. He has been linked to a seat alongside Takuma Sato at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, but his chances of landing a deal before the St. Petersburg season opener on March 25 appear slim.
Filippi was in attendance at Barber Motorsports Park for IndyCar testing earlier this week, and he was a spectator at Sebring on Thursday as well.
"At the moment I would say that I hope to test a car soon," Filippi told AUTOSPORT. "But I'm not sure that I will be able to start the season, which is a shame.
"It's hard to say what will happen. Every day the situation looks different. Sometimes it is good, sometimes it is very bad, so I don't know what will happen. One week ago I would have said we will make it, and if I had my own sponsor, it would be done already. Now, I'm still positive, but it doesn't depend on me."
The GP2 veteran added that the shortage of engines in IndyCar added an extra hurdle to his chances of landing a deal. RLL Racing is slated for a two-car program with Honda powerplants.
"This year there is a bit of an issue because there are not enough engines for everyone," he said. "Normally it would be easier, because you start testing, then you can work on finding sponsors. This year if you don't have everything finalized you can't have an engine [to test with]. It's very tough to make it happen."