Carlos Sainz is not ruling out staying with Toro Rosso in 2017.
The Spaniard has always targeted a move up to the senior team Red Bull, but last month he watched his teammate Max Verstappen get the call.
Now, reports are doing the rounds that Red Bull Racing have locked in their current driver lineup, completed by Australian Daniel Ricciardo, for not only 2017 but also 2018.
"I see they want to keep Ricciardo and Verstappen," Sainz, 21, told Spanish broadcaster Movistar in Baku.
"The door at Red Bull seems a bit closed, but it does not change my plans. I will keep trying because in Formula 1 you never know what can happen."
Indeed, Sainz has even been linked with potential moves to either Renault or Ferrari for 2017, even though on Thursday he said it is too early for that kind of "silly season" talk.
"I know that Red Bull are happy with me so there is no reason why I cannot continue in Toro Rosso next year," he said.
"We will have to wait a little longer until the summer. There are important races coming up and I want to do well. Then we'll see.
"But there is no doubt that I want to go to a big team soon."
Sainz has picked up 18 points so far in the 2016 championship.