Giancarlo Fisichella says he is 'on standby' awaiting news from Renault about his future at the team, but is adamant that he is not ready to retire from Formula One if he loses the drive.
The Italian is one of many drivers whose 2008 situation remains uncertain while teams wait to see if Fernando Alonso and McLaren choose to end their troubled relationship.
Renault are tipped as the most likely destination for Alonso should he part company with McLaren, and the team have admitted that current drivers Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen, and test driver Nelson Piquet Jr, will have to sit tight until Alonso's future becomes clear.
Fisichella said he understood the situation, but is hopeful that the outcome of the saga will see him staying on at Renault for a fourth season.
"I am on standby, as requested from Renault," he said in an interview with the official Formula One website.
"I would be very happy to stay. I have done a good job - the best given the circumstances! I have a strong feeling I have to finish the job."
Of the current field, only Rubens Barrichello and David Coulthard began their F1 careers before 1996 debutant Fisichella, but the Italian denied that retirement was an option.
"No way!" said Fisichella. "I am as physically fit as a young boy - and I have the experience."
He is hopeful that the situation is resolved swiftly so he can begin preparing for the technical changes that will come with next year's traction control ban.
"I would like to be able to start getting excited about testing the new car with no electronics," he said. "It will be a new challenge."
Fisichella also joked that he could tell from the outside that former teammate Alonso was not as settled at McLaren as he had been at Renault.
"Maybe Fernando thought life at McLaren was going to be a little different," he said. "Maybe he cannot get along with Ron (Dennis) as he did with Flavio (Briatore). For sure, he does not play cards with him..."