Without a drive for next season, Pascal Wehrlein has revealed that his future may not be decided until next year.
The Manor rookie had hoped to step up to a Force India seat in 2017 but lost that drive to his team-mate Esteban Ocon.
That has limited Wehrlein’s options as only Manor and Sauber have places open for next season.
The German has emerged as one of the favourites to partner Marcus Ericsson at Sauber but admits he may not know where he will be until early next year.
“It could be that it will be decided next year,” Wehrlein told Autosport.
“But I hope that it will be this year because then, in the winter, you can prepare and it’s a different way of thinking.
“Going into next year, you know what you’re doing and you can start to prepare with the team and your fitness training.”
Asked whether he wants to remain at Manor or swap to Sauber, Wehrlein refused to say which of the two he would prefer.
“I like the team [Manor] and I’m feeling really happy, many people here are friends of mine who want to meet in the winter and go skiing or snowboarding, so it’s nice.
“I’m feeling great in the team and it’s great to see the progress, so why not?
“Sauber is a great team as well and there is also some history with Mercedes, and Mercedes junior drivers.
“It’s kind of strange because we are fighting against Sauber and now there are some rumours that it could happen that I’m next year with Sauber.
“Sauber is a great team with a lot of potential and let’s see what happens in the future.”
He added: “I tried everything on my side to stay in Formula 1.
“I tried my best, I tried to convince the people – I scored a point, was in Q2 four times, which was a great effort from the team and from us.
“In the end, if I cannot stay in Formula 1, there’s nothing I can do about it.”