As the F1 world looks set to race on without him, Jaime Alguersuari has decried a sport whose seats are now sold to the highest bidder.
Accepting that his hopes of returning in 2013 are dashed, the former Toro Rosso driver revealed that he had talks with a team this year that ultimately decided to sign a different driver.
In a statement issued by his management, Alguersuari indicated he will keep working with Pirelli instead.
"I have been convinced most of the 2012 season that my seat was secured in a team that usually scores," said the Spaniard. "They did tell me and I believed it to be true."
However, it "has not happened," the 22-year-old acknowledged, adding that F1 in the pay-driver era has "become an auction".
But he has not given up hope completely, insisting he is "convinced" he deserves a place on the grid even though the only Spanish sponsor that considers F1 a "profitable and sustainable business" is Ferrari's Santander.
Another former F1 driver, Martin Brundle, said the fact economics are locking talented names out of the sport is "sad" but simply "the business" of grand prix racing.
"They all had their chances to shine," the vetearn of 158 grands prix told broadcaster Sky's F1 Show.
"Maybe that sounds a bit brutal, but they had their chances to shine," he added, also referring to the newly-ousted talents including Timo Glock, Heikki Kovalainen and Kamui Kobayashi.
"Just like when I got kicked out of F1, you had your chances, nothing else was there and it's about the fresh blood," said Brundle.
Instead, the Briton said he is looking forward to watching newcomers like Max Chilton, Giedo van der Garde, Luiz Razia, Esteban Gutierrez, Valtteri Bottas and others try to prove themselves.
"I looked at Gutierrez (at the Jerez test) and thought 'how's he going to go?'," Brundle said.
"If it had been Kobayashi, you'd pretty much know how he was going to go -- he'd be amazing from time to time, pull off a few great overtakes, and be on the missing list for the rest of the season."