Sergey Sirotkin's previous dalliance with F1 proved short-lived and somewhat of a sideshow as a pawn in a proposed Russian rescue of the Sauber team, but the youngster believes that he is closer to returning to a role in the top flight following a strong GP2 Series campaign in 2015.
A tender teenager with little of note on his racing resume at the time he was thrust into the F1 headlines thanks to family links to Sauber's apparent white knight, Sirotkin's dream of driving a grand prix car disappeared almost as quickly as it had appeared, but he went a long way to convincing sceptics that he was worthy of a position in motorsport's blue riband series by chasing Stoffel Vandoorne and Alexander Rossi to a top three position in this season's GP2 standings.
Now he is being linked to a potential move to the Arden team for 2016, while eyeing a testing tie-up with an F1 team as he seeks to re-establish himself as a star of the future.
"We have a definite offer, and not just one, but we all understand what it rests upon,” Sirotkin told Russia's Sportbox
website, “If we find the required financial support, maybe I'll be a test driver in F1. There is an opportunity, and perhaps we're even closer to this goal than some others."
Regarding talk of a possible move from Rapax to Arden for 2016, however, Sirotkin admits that things are far from confirmed
"I am glad that I will continue to race in GP2," he conceded, “but, regarding Arden, I hope to announce something soon as negotiations are underway. All I can say is that, next season, my goal is the title - after third place there can be nothing else to aim for.
“We had a great season [in 2015]. The series this year was extremely competitive but the first stage [of the season] did not work for technical reasons and we lost a lot of points. However, when everything went into the rhythm over [the final] two-thirds of the championship, our car was one of the strongest and, in the end, we were very good.”