New GP2 champion Davide Valsecchi has admitted his best hope of breaking into formula one in 2013 is as a third driver.
On his fifth attempt in the F1 support series, the 25-year-old Italian this year beat Brazilian Luiz Razia to the title.
Valsecchi was hoping to follow recent champions like Romain Grosjean, Pastor Maldonado and Nico Hulkenberg into F1, but admitted to Italiaracing: "At this point, I'm working to get the place of the Lotus team's third driver.
"I honestly thought I could find the financial support allowing me to find a team for 2013, but the various possibilities have weakened."
Valsecchi, who in 2012 drove for the Lotus-linked Dams team in GP2, admitted he was hoping to replace Frenchman Grosjean for 2013.
"In the end he (Grosjean) deserved it because he has proven to be very fast," he acknowledged.
This year's Lotus reserve was Jerome d'Ambrosio, who stepped in to Grosjean's seat in September when the Frenchman was banned.
Valsecchi said: "I think that at the moment the only hope is to become their third driver, which would not be bad because Lotus is the fourth best team in the world."