Renger van der Zande has revealed that he will not stay in the DTM with Mercedes this season.
The Dutchman, who made his debut in the series last year driving an older-spec C-class, had hoped to be retained for a second season, but Mercedes has told him that he will not form part of its line-up.
"It's the way things are in car racing right now," said van der Zande, who added that he believed he was the preferred choice of Mercedes' sporting arm, but lost out because the manufacturer wants to sign a North American driver for commercial reasons.
"In Formula 1, too, the majority of seats have been bought. That means that those of us who mainly rely on talent and track record will have to jostle for a good seat.
"I'm not that bothered myself, I see it as a fact of life. I entered the international arena at the wrong time, and unfortunately, I don't have a 'rich uncle' to offer."
The 26-year-old added that he is pursuing drives in other categories for 2012, with the World Endurance Championship and Porsche Supercup at the top of his list.
"I hope to be able to announce my definitive plans for 2012 within a matter of weeks," he said. "I expect to race more than ever in the year ahead, particularly because I am now working to broaden my horizons as an all-rounder."
AUTOSPORT understands that Canadian Robert Wickens, the reigning Formula Renault 3.5 champion, has been in talks with Mercedes over the winter.