David Coulthard insists he is not ready to turn his back on Formula One even though he has not yet secured a drive for the 2005 season.
The 33-year-old's deal with McLaren runs out after the final Grand Prix in Brazil but he is keen to go elsewhere.
"I'm not ready to retire," said Coulthard. "I'll try to get a drive next year but if I don't then I'll try the following year.
"I think I have the pace, desire and overtaking ability to be competitive."
Coulthard joined McLaren in 1996 but has been eclipsed by Finnish team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Team chief Ron Dennis is bringing in Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya from Williams to partner Raikkonen in 2005.
And Coulthard's best hope of securing a drive is a switch to BAR if Jenson Button's return to Williams is approved - or perhaps a move to Williams if Button stays at BAR.
"The whole last two years have been disappointing," said Coulthard.
"I'm not saying the team's against me but naturally their resources go into where they're investing for the future.
"Until I sign a contract for next season I've got nothing but I hope Brazil won't be my last Grand Prix.
"I'll do what I can to make sure I'm on the grid next season."