Pedro de la Rosa is no longer favourite to become Kamui Kobayashi's teammate at the Sauber team in 2010.
Jenson Button has revealed that he will not give McLaren's new MP4-25 its track debut because de la Rosa, 38, is scheduled to drive it at Valencia on February 1.
The news indicates that the Spaniard is staying put as the Woking based team's main test and reserve driver this year.
At the same time, the Swiss newspaper Blick reports that Giancarlo Fisichella flew briefly from Ferrari's winter media event in the Italian Dolomites to Sauber's Hinwil headquarters last Thursday.
The newspaper suggested that Sauber is under pressure from its new powertrain supplier Ferrari to give 2010 reserve driver Fisichella, 37, the vacant race seat.
The Roman veteran has contested more than 231 grands prix since 1996, including a season with Sauber in 2004.