Nico Hulkenberg says he doesn't feel like he's leaving F1, the outgoing Renault driver insisting he'll be ready to jump back into the fray if opportunity knocks.
A veteran of 176 Grands prix starts, Hulkenberg will include his ninth season in F1 next week in Abu Dhabi, a campaign he hopes will not have been his last, but if it is, the 32-year-old German driver will harbor no regrets over his time at the pinnacle of motorsport.
"No regrets," he said in Brazil last weekend. "Of course I've done mistakes, like we all do sometimes that I would have liked to avoid, a few moves or things I'd do differently now, but that's always easy to say with hindsight.
"So all-in-all, I'm at peace with what I've achieved, and I don't feel I'm retiring as a race driver.
"I don't feel I am leaving F1, I might not be on the grid, but if there's an opportunity I'm going to be ready."
Hulkenberg was linked until recently to a potential move to IndyCar, having held talks with Ed Carpenter Racing. However, that door was closed by Carpenter himself last week.
Rumors have also placed Hulkenberg in the German DTM series in 2020, gossip that the Renault driver labeled - at least for now - as "fake news".
"I haven't signed anything, and I won't do for the foreseeable future," Hulkenberg added. "I received calls from different, let's say racing series, teams, but nothing is really happening at the moment.
"To be honest, my state of mind is quite relaxed.
"I will finish the season anyways and I want to be as successful as possible and then after that, I want to rewind a little, take a moment for myself or two or three, and see what I want to do, what seems of interest.
"I'm certainly not having the feeling that I want to rush into something, just to race, so I am pretty relaxed.
"I feel a decade of F1 is intense, living at that high-pace, so that's why I just need to see when the new year starts, how I feel and how things develop and evolve and in which direction.
"Honestly, at the moment, I just don't know."