Fabrizio Giovanardi believes he may have to take a sabbatical next season after Chevrolet's decision to keep its World Touring Car effort at three cars.
The former Italian, Spanish, European and British tin-top champion lost his BTCC drive when Vauxhall quit the series in October. He had been in advanced discussions with Chevrolet about a WTCC seat before the American manufacturer opted for a lineup of Rob Huff, Alain Menu and Yvan Muller.
With the number of factory cars in the WTCC set to drop considerably next year, Giovanardi said that he may have no choice but to sit out the 2010 season.
"I see very few options now," the 42-year-old Italian told AUTOSPORT. "I thought there was a chance at Chevrolet, but that will not happen. All the manufacturers know I'm here and they know what I have done, but there's not much more I can do. Maybe there is no option but to not race next year."
Giovanardi did not completely rule out returning to Britain, where he was champion in 2007 and 2008 with Vauxhall, but said it was highly unlikely that he would find a spot on the BTCC grid next year.
"There are no manufacturer teams, only teams where you have to bring budget," he added.
Giovanardi quashed any suggestions of retirement. "No way," he said. "Gabriele [Tarquini] is nearly 48 and he just won the world title. Sure, he says he's not decided on his future, so you never know. I'm still a few years younger than him. I'm still hungry and I'm still fast, so I hope we can sort something out."