Jenson Button says there is no guarantee he would accept a new deal to stay at McLaren, even if the Formula 1 team does eventually decide to keep him.
The former world champion has still not been told whether or not he will be retained for next year, with the outfit still finalising its plans as it closes in on a deal with Fernando Alonso.
While Button is awaiting a decision from his bosses, he has admitted that options he has outside F1 has left him in a situation where he could actually choose to turn his back on grand prix racing.
When asked if, in the wake of being left hanging on over a new deal, he would definitely stay on at McLaren, he said: "That is a good question that I cannot answer at this moment in time.
"When you are put in a position that many drivers have been in over the year, not sure if your contract is going to be renewed, it opens your eyes to different challenges and different possibilities.
"Whether it is racing, whether it is doing another sport, or something different altogether, for me I am excited about the challenges ahead.
"I have a lot that I am excited about, a lot of different ideas, whether it is for next year or the year after.
"This is a massive part of my life - F1 and motor racing has been - and it is not going to stop. It will continue.
"But I don't know where that is going to be right now.
"But I never feel like I am being pushed out of the sport, because I will definitely be in the sport in some shape or form. And it is going to be massively exciting."
Button says that not having a winning car is actually more disappointing for him right now than being left waiting for a firm answer from McLaren.
"This is F1, and there are many things to be disappointed about in the sport," he said ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix.
"If you don't have a quick car, I'm a world champion and I want to win grands prix. So if you don't have a quick car you are disappointed.
"For me that is the bit that hurts more than anything else."
Button says that he is in no particular rush to get an answer from McLaren - and reckons it would make no difference if he heads to Abu Dhabi not knowing if it was his last race.
"For McLaren I guess at some point a decision needs to be taken. For me personally either way, whether it is done in next two weeks or not, doesn't make any difference. So no issue for me."
He added: "People always think of it as retiring, but I am not retiring. Whatever I do next year, I am not retiring.
"I am still a racing driver who has won a world championship and wants to go and achieve a lot more in motorsport, so I will probably have a couple of drinks if it is my last race in F1, with friends and family.
"But I don't feel I have to have a big thing made of my career, whichever way it goes."