A facetious Nico Hulkenberg tried to put one over a TV interviewer on Monday night when he announced that he had just signed a contract with Red Bull.
Hulkenberg was invited on the set of Servus TV's 'Sport und Talk', a program broadcasted from Red Bull's famous Hanger 7 at Salzburg airport.
Discussions inevitably led to the future in F1 of Grand Prix racing's super-sub and his chances of landing a plum drive with Red Bull Racing
Queried on his prospects, a witty Hulk said: "Yes, I have indeed signed!" But the German quickly put the cat back in the bag when he revealed that what he had actually signed was a new home loan and savings contract!
Hulkenberg then took the conversation to a more serious place, insisting there had been no recent change to the state of his affairs.
"Of course I hope for a good return in the future, but there is nothing else to report," he said. "It is very, very quiet at the moment.
"The reports have calmed down a bit, and I think it will be a while before there is really any final clarity."
As a free agent and F1's favourite substitute, Hulkenberg was called upon by Racing Point three times this season. The former Renault driver replaced Sergio Perez at Silverstone's double-header and was then slotted in at the Eifel Grand Prix after Lance Stroll fell ill.
"For many teams, the decisions have already been made," Hulkenberg said, alluding to the 2021 season.
"I had my two chances and used them as good as I could. I'm not actively involved now anyway, but of course I'm in contact with the people that matter. But not every week now, not every day.
"I will just let things come to me now. I am quite relaxed. It's not in my hands.
"That's why I am on standby, so to speak. And of course I hope that there will be a comeback and a chance, which I would be very motivated and keen to do. But we just need a little patience until the final decision is made."
On Red Bull's end, RBR team boss Christian Horner has indicated that there is no timescale on its decision to retain or not Alex Albon for 2021, as no other alternatives in F1 currently exist for the British-Thai driver.
While Hulkenberg patiently waits, fellow free agent Sergio Perez says that time is slowly running out on his side.
"At the moment we just have to wait and see," Perez said in Istanbul. "The season is coming soon to an end and as I’ve said before until the teams announce the driver everything is an option.
"It’s happening now too late, we’re already close to December, so there is not a lot more to be had in that regard."