Formula Renault 3.5 race winner Albert Costa's prospects of securing a drive in 2012 have suffered a setback in recent weeks owing to an off-track 'managerial' dispute.
The Catalan, winner of the final race of 2011 and formerly an FIA Institute Academy young driver, expressed his frustration over the setback that has left him attempting to piece together a new deal from scratch.
"I want to get the message across to everyone that I am a completely free agent," said Costa.
"Over the winter a lot of people came into my life approaching me with promises that they would help me if they became my manager and talk of taking me into Formula 1.
"I was working with someone over the last two months who said he had found a big sponsor and everything was set for me to continue in World Series.
"We even called Carlin, as I said to [team boss] Trevor [Carlin] that I had a sponsor, but when the actual moment came to talk about a contract, this guy said, 'No, no. There's a problem with the sponsor,' and disappeared. Since a week ago I have been alone, free, with no manager - and no money."
Costa took victory in the 2009 Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup against a grid that peaked at 48 cars, and included current Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver Jean-Eric Vergne. Despite his own trials, Costa is encouraged by the progress made by his former rivals into Formula 1 race-seats in 2012.
"I know Jean-Eric [Vergne], [Daniel] Ricciardo and Charles Pic and, sometimes, I won against these drivers. They were more or less in the same year as me in Renault World Series, but they are in F1 and at the moment it looks like I am going to be at home.
"It's getting really late to do a deal in formula cars, but I just want to race, whether it's in touring cars or another category. I really don't care if I earn money, but it will be very bad for me if I spend this year at home."