Pastor Maldonado has said that he is working on his return to Formula 1.
With a controversial driving style, the 31-year-old raced for Williams and Lotus until 2015, when his sponsor PDVSA struck trouble amid the Venezuelan oil crisis.
However, Maldonado said at an event at Colombia's Autodromo de Tocancipa: "I'm talking to some teams and I'm quite optimistic."
Maldonado said: "Unfortunately, some situations pushed me out of Formula 1 and, as you know, getting back in through the front door is never easy.
"At first it was hard to accept not being in Formula 1, but since I saw the performance of Renault I would say I was fine. Now I am discussing again with some teams and hope to be on the grid in Australia.
"Obviously I do not exclude other categories, but my intention is to be in F1."
The FIA released its provisional 2017 entry list recently showing vacancies only at Sauber and Manor, but Nico Rosberg's shock retirement could be set to shake up the driver market.