Davide Valsecchi has not given up hope of earning a berth on the F1 grid next season, but concedes that he is more likely to wind up acting as a back-up instead of actually racing.
The new GP2 Series champion had viewed predecessor Romain Grosjean's seat at Lotus as his best bet for 2013 but, with the Frenchman confirmed as returning following his success in the Race of Champions in Thailand, doors have begun closing on Valsecchi.
With Marussia also completing its line-up with the signing of Max Chilton, only second seats at Force India and Caterham remain to be filled for the new campaign, and both already have a number of suitors chasing the opportunity to partner Paul di Resta and Charles Pic respectively.
As a result, Valsecchi is pinning his graduation hopes on being able to land a reserve role, and still has Lotus, whom he tested with in Abu Dhabi, in his sights, despite the Enstone team having employed – and used – Jerome d'Ambrosio in that situation in 2012.
“I honestly thought I could find the financial support allowing me to find a team for 2013, but the various possibilities have weakened,” he confirmed to Italiaracing.net
, “Grosjean deserved [to keep his seat] because he has proven to be very fast, so I think that, at the moment, the only hope is to become their third driver, which would not be bad because Lotus is the fourth best team in the world.”
Valsecchi's main GP2 Series rival, Luiz Razia, is also facing an uncertain 2013, having been passed over for the Marussia seat in favour of Chilton. The Brazilian believes he is still in contention for the seats at Caterham and Force India, but faces competition from the likes of Giedo van der Garde, Vitaly Petrov, Jaime Alguersuari and Adrian Sutil.