Timo Glock is hoping to step into the midfield with Virgin in 2012.
The German was earlier disheartened with the new team's lack of progress after its 2010 debut, questioning Nick Wirth's approach to designing his cars without a wind tunnel.
But Virgin has now split with Wirth and inked a deal to use McLaren's wind tunnel, and the latest indication is that Glock, 29, is staying on board.
"I know it sounds ambitious," he told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, "but we are already planning to be in the midfield in 2012.
"Then if possible we'll fight at eye-level with Toro Rosso, Force India and co. It won't be easy but I'm optimistic," added Glock.