Although he has since found gainful employment with bot the BBC and Pirelli, there is nothing more that Jaime Alguersuari would like than to be battling it out on track with his former F1 rivals.

What will make his envy worse is the thought that he could have been a genuine contender this season.

The Spaniard was unceremoniously dumped by Scuderia Toro Rosso late in 2011 on the basis that he 'would never be world champion', but only after he had already canned talks with another team on the promise that his ride was safe for 2012. It now appears that those talks were with the Lotus team which finished 2-3 in the recent Bahrain Grand Prix and has made the top ten in qualifying at every round so far this season.

According to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo, the 22-year old was approached by Lotus - which was known as Lotus Renault at that point - during the final grand prix of the 2011 season in Brazil. When Alguersuari was forced to turn them down on the basis that he thought he had a deal to continue with STR, Lotus went out and courted Kimi Raikkonen, successfully enticing the 2007 world champion to return from his rallying sojourn.

After a tough start to the season, the Finn then turned eleventh place into second overall in Bahrain, adding to the other scoring finishes he racked up in Australia and Malaysia and putting himself into seventh overall in the standings, one spot ahead of team-mate Romain Grosjean, who many felt was always a lock to return after winning the GP2 title.

"[Alguersuari] no doubt remembers last 26 November, the day of qualifying in Brazil, when the Lotus Renault team was interested to know if he was free to go to them in 2012," the report claimed.

Alguersuari is expected to begin his tenure with Pirelli next month, hoping that driving a contemporary F1 car will keep him in tune should any of the twelve teams come calling.

"You need to look forward," he insisted on the eve of the 2012 season, "Life - you have it one day and then you don't have it anymore. I hope one day to be back in F1 to demonstrate what I can do and what I am capable of, and I will fight for it."