Sauber's Marcus Ericsson has admitted that he might be out of Formula 1 at the end of the current season.
"Fact is that I don’t have a contract for next season," Ericsson told the official Formula 1 website this week. "I am fighting for that.
"That is my aim. My management is speaking with the team and trying to sort out my contract," he added. "You can never be sure in F1 unless it is sealed and signed."
Ericsson is currently paired with Mercedes protégé Pascal Wehrlein. With Charles Leclerc looking likely to get one seat at Sauber in 2018, at least one of them will be out in the cold in 2018.
It had been thought that Ericsson's seat was safe because of support from his personal sponsors, who backed the Longbow Finance buy-out of Sauber last year. But Ericsson denied that this meant his position was secure.
"So much for the ‘wild card’!" he laughed. "A good performance is the best underpinning of your ambitions.
"My benchmark is Pascal, it is my first goal to beat him," Ericsson said. "If we can take the fight to other teams we will do so. But my main target is to beat Pascal.
"All the people making decisions over the Sauber cockpits know that we are handicapped by the power unit and can hardly fight others, so it is a fight within the team: Marcus versus Pascal!"
Currently, Ericsson is the only driver to have started every race in 2017 not to have scored any points. By contrast, Wehrlein has claimed points on two occasions to date despite missing the first two rounds through injury.
"It is disappointing, no question," he said of his situation. "I want to score points and fight for points every race weekend. But this year it has been more difficult than ever with the old Ferrari power unit.
"But it is what it is and we try at every race to maximise what we’ve got. And yes, even if I have zero points I can say that I have had some pretty good races and some good performances.
"F1 has been pretty tough for me," he admitted. "Out of my four years in the sport I only had one year with a competitive car.
"The other three years I have spent mostly at the back of the field. That makes it tough, especially mentally. I am a racer looking for wins and not making up the grid and fighting for P18."
Ericsson made his Formula 1 début at the 2014 Australian Grand Prix with the now-defunct Caterham team. He moved to Sauber the following year where he picked up five points finishes.
The last of them was at the 2015 Italian Grand Prix when he finished in ninth place. Ever since then, however, he's been unable to crack the top ten.
"Yes, that is mentally challenging," he admitted. "But it is also one of my strengths
"I always keep fighting, always try to do the best in the situation I am in and not let the frustration take over. I always see the positive side in things and try to make the most out of it."