Jaime Alguersuari is refusing to give anything away as he considers his future following Toro Rosso's clean-sweep for 2012.
Asked if he has been in contact with any alternative employers after he was ousted by team owners Red Bull, the 21-year-old Spaniard told El Mundo Deportivo: "For the moment I can't say anything."
That may be because he is in the unusual situation of losing his seat but remaining under contract, with the energy drink company believed to have bound Alguersuari until 2013.
But according to Spain's highest-ranking FIA official Carlos Gracia, HRT might now seize the opportunity to create an all-Spanish lineup, with Pedro de la Rosa already signed up for 2012.
"It was an unpleasant surprise," Gracia is quoted by AS when asked about the Alguersuari news. "Jaime has had a great season but the possibilities for him (for 2012) are complicated. HRT could be an option," he said.
HRT founder Adrian Campos said: "It's what you have to expect from (Helmut) Marko, a character who already destroyed the career of the big Spanish talent Antonio Garcia."
Veteran engineer Joan Villadelprat agreed: "If HRT has the ability to sign him it would be great. Hopefully it works out for him."
Ferrari test driver Marc Gene said: "I would not rule out HRT, because you can prove your worth with any team."
Jaime has had a great season but the possibilities for him are complicated
According to Marca newspaper, new HRT boss Luis Perez Sala recently sounded impressed with Alguersuari's season, insisting: "If he's not with Toro Rosso (in 2012) then it will be because he is with a better team."
Then came the bad news.
Said Spanish Indycar driver Oriol Servia: "I'm surprised but we know that in F1 these things happen."
FIA steward Joaquin Verdegay, also a Spaniard, said: "I think he will stay with Red Bull, because he has been one of the five best drivers of the year.
"Marko knows that too and I'm sure they're not going to drop him. Maybe he's going to Red Bull as third driver? Or maybe to replace Webber?"