Nick Heidfeld remains hopeful that Formula 1 teams with vacancies for next year will not simply chase pay drivers to fill their seats.
The German is currently without a drive for 2011, with his current Sauber outfit having opted to take Mexican Sergio Perez as team-mate to Kamui Kobayashi.
Heidfeld is in talks with several teams - believed to include Force India, Renault and Williams - but says that nothing has been settled yet.
And although he does not have big-money sponsors behind him to help buy a drive, Heidfeld thinks there is still a chance - as he urges outfits not to be blinded by promises of money from drivers that could ultimately fail to materialise.
"I think it will happen, but you cannot be 100 per cent sure," Heidfeld told AUTOSPORT about his chances of getting a race seat for 2011.
"Unfortunately at the moment in Formula 1 it is not solely about how you drive the car and what you can win in terms of talent, speed and clever engineering skills. Other factors play a role as well - and some of these things I cannot deliver compared to others.
"I don't have some backing like the others, but we are speaking to some sponsors who say they are interested, but first they want to see where you drive and then they might jump on board.
"On the other side, I have seen in the past drivers say they will bring five, 10 or 20 million dollars, and I don't understand how teams fall for it over and over again.
"At the end of the year, the teams find out the drivers didn't bring anything. Sometimes you wonder from the outside how they can make these mistakes over and over again. I hope they don't go for the money that is not even there yet."
Heidfeld has refused to reveal the identities of the teams he is talking to, but has ruled out taking a drive with a back of the grid team.
"I think it is easy to guess where there positions are," he said. "I am still not targeting going to a very slow team for example. I think they are doing a good job, but I don't want to go there."