Carlos Sainz jr has admitted not moving up to Formula One next year would be a "big blow".
As the days roll on, it appears increasingly likely that, instead of pairing Max Verstappen with another young rookie in 2015, owner Red Bull will instead keep the experienced Jean-Eric Vergne at Toro Rosso for one more year.
Indeed, recently frustrated that his F1 career seemed to be ending, the 24-year-old is now all smiles in the Interlagos paddock.
"Compared to one month ago," Vergne told France's RMC at Interlagos, "the situation is much more optimistic.
"A lot of people at Red Bull and Toro Rosso would like to keep me next year so we will see how the situation will evolve," he added.
"I also discussed it with the boss Dietrich Mateschitz in Russia and I think everything is going in the right direction at the moment. I'm still part of the Red Bull family so I think all the signs are green now," said Vergne.
A big blow
It is not good news for 20-year-old Sainz, who despite being the top Red Bull-backed junior at present and the new Formula Renault 3.5 champion, was also overlooked for the Verstappen seat recently.
Asked to imagine the scenario of Helmut Marko phoning him with bad news about the Toro Rosso seat, Sainz admitted: "It would be a blow. A big blow.
"I think after what I achieved this year, not confirming me - from my point of view - it would be an injustice," he told Spain's El Confidencial. "I think I could not have done more this year."
Sainz continued: "I would see Formula One with different eyes.
"It has always been a dream since I was 7 years old, getting up at 3 in the morning to watch Fernando (Alonso) race in Melbourne. It remains a dream for me, but I would see it with new eyes," he added.