Time appears to be running out for David Coulthard as a top-line Grand Prix driver - or so it appears at the end of a disappointing season.
As has been so often the case for the Scot, 2003 was a tale of what might have been.
He might have won the first three races had he been a bit luckier and not followed up a win in Australia with a car failure in Malaysia and then suffered from the timing of the race stoppage in Brazil.
Had he won those Grands Prix, who knows what it might have done for his confidence.
First GP: Spain 1994
2003 position: 7th
Previous teams: Williams
As things turned out, though, the bad timing in Brazil hit him hard - he has admitted to going back to the hotel bar and getting drunk as he mulled over the missed opportunity.
Problem was, the resultant hangover appears to have lasted most of the season.
From Imola onwards, Coulthard began to have all sorts of problems with the new one-lap qualifying system.
That resulted in a long line of poor grid positions, which in turn meant he under-performed in races.
That was not because he was slow - he wasn't - but because he was too far back and had too much ground to make up.
Even more worryingly, McLaren's patience appears finally to have run out and they began what appear to have been fruitful talks about signing Juan Pablo Montoya for 2005.
There are even rumours that Montoya might join the team for 2004.
Where either eventuality would leave Coulthard remains to be seen.
He clearly still has the ability to perform at the highest level - but he will have to crack his qualifying problems if he is to convince potential employers of that.