Gary Paffett insists he is not "bitter" despite sitting on the sidelines while his 2010 rival is now hot property in Formula One.
The Briton, under long term contract to Mercedes in the German touring car series DTM, is also a test and reserve driver at top F1 team McLaren.
Last year in DTM, 30-year-old Paffett finished second to Paul di Resta, the rookie Scot who now drives for Force India and is tipped as a future driver for Mercedes' works team.
"I find it hard to say that Formula One is only the secondary thing for me, but it is a fact that I'm there, I'm a part of a big team and my job is to help them to win races," he told Germany's spox.com.
Paffett insists he has not given up on his F1 dream.
"No, definitely not," he said. "The longer I'm there, the more experienced I am.
I don't see why a 30-year-old is no longer suitable for a regular seat in Formula One
"I don't see why a 30-year-old is no longer suitable for a regular seat in Formula One. That's still my goal and if an offer comes, I will definitely think seriously about it."
At the same time, he insists he has been happy to see di Resta impress in 2011.
"I'm happy for him because he's a good friend. If I was bitter about some of the opportunities my rivals have had that I have not then I would not survive.
"Motor sport is a difficult business that is not just about how fast you can drive."