Things are looking grim for the Finn's chances at a full-time ride next year.
Dec.23 (GMM) Heikki Kovalainen expects to eat his Christmas lunch without knowing if he has a Formula One seat for 2014.
Throughout this year, the experienced Finn has been considered a favourite to return to the grid next season with Caterham.
But as the 2013 season ended, and 32-year-old Kovalainen struggled while replacing the hurriedly-departed Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus, Caterham looked increasingly likely to field a pair of sponsored drivers, such as Giedo van der Garde and rookie Marcus Ericsson, in 2014.
Kovalainen has travelled from his home in Switzerland to his native Finland for Christmas.
He is already planning ahead for 2014.
"I have been maintaining my training programme for Formula One as much as possible," the Finn is quoted by the broadcaster MTV3. "I will have a normal F1 driver's winter.
"The only difference to previous years is that I do not currently have a contract for next season.
"But this has happened more than once in my career, when I didn't know what awaited me for the future but eventually I had something.
"The most serious negotiations are with Caterham," revealed Kovalainen. "But all the different factors need to come together.
"In any case, it should be clarified by the end of January, when the tests begin. But I am not going to end my career," he insisted.