May 21 (GMM) Nick Heidfeld insists he has not yet called time on his Formula One career.
Never a race winner, the now 35-year-old was a highly respected F1 regular dating back to 2000, scoring 13 podiums and driving for teams including Williams, Sauber and - as recently as 2011 - Renault (now Lotus).
But his latest foray is endurance sports car racing, giving the impression that German Heidfeld has acknowledged his F1 career is over.
"You'd think that, but it's not the case," he insisted on Monday to Auto Motor und Sport.
"Of course it's not easy to find a place, otherwise I'd be there already. I'm having quite a lot of fun in sports cars and we'll just have to see what the future holds."
Heidfeld admits it has been "very difficult" to accept that, in 2012 at least, he is no longer an F1 driver.
But he is still an avid fan. Commenting on the topsy-turvy season seen so far, with five different winners, Heidfeld enthused: "It's incredible.
"Even the teams I think don't really know what's going on. It's most enjoyable for the viewers and I think also for many of the teams, who know that they have a good chance every now and then.
Heidfeld also commented on his countryman Michael Schumacher's widely reported recent criticism of Pirelli's difficult 2012 tyres.
"He complained a little bit more than normal and that will always be cooked hotter than if someone else had said it," said Heidfeld.
"Of course, as a driver, you always want better tyres, but as always you have to adapt to the situation. Sometimes it works out well for you, sometimes less."
Finally, he was asked who will lift the crown in 2012, answering simply: "Lewis Hamilton."