Italian F3 champion Mirko Bortolotti might have shown impressive performance on his F1 testing debut with Ferrari before Christmas, but he admits that his run at Fiorano has so far failed to open doors for 2009.
The Ferrari link will continue when Bortolotti tests the A1GP development car at the new Portimao track later this month, but his racing programme beyond that remains clouded by uncertainty as he chases the finances to move up the ladder.
“I have various proposals to think about, and I could run in either the F3 Euroseries or GP2," he revealed to Italy's La Stampa
, "Although one of my strengths is adapting quickly to new cars and situations, Lucidi's team manager, Gabriel, has advised me to do another year in F3, but my family does not have great economic means, so I have to hope that I can find a sponsor."
Admitting that his relationship with Ferrari does not extend beyond the A1GP run, Bortolotti concedes that time is running out for him to secure something meaningful for 2009.
"I will have to decide as soon possible," he said of his options, "There is nothing arranged with Ferrari for the time being, only a good relationship - but I am happy to have been given the chance they gave me. Now I must think about my future. I must be sure of having something competitive, to ensure that the dream does not end. For seven years, I played the drums, and I still have a sense of rhythm, but I want to be a racing driver!"
Bortolotti's Italian F3 record has drawn comparison with a certain Lewis Hamilton, who made a similar impact in Formula Renault UK, but the 18-year old - who admits to having been a difficult child - insists that his idol remains Michael Schumacher.
"I spent my childhood in Austria, but I was a terrible child, always a little mental patient," he recalled, having admitted that his schooling allowed him to learn French, German and English, "The only things that appealed to me had wheels, made noise and were fast. When I was four, I was given a 50cc kart and I drove karts for the next eleven years.
"With the passing of the time, I have worked on my physical preparation and this year was a beautiful fight with Edoardo Piscopo. To be on the podium 15 times in 16 contests, with nine victories, five second places and a third place, meant it was a season hard fought but full of satisfaction."