At one stage last season it appeared likely that Paul di Resta would be lining up in one of the established top cars on the grid come Melbourne 2013.
Having been a long-time protégé of Mercedes, and having resulting long-time ties to McLaren, the Scot was hotly tipped to join one of the two giants should a seat at either become available, while his name was also said to be on Ferrari's list of potential replacements for Felipe Massa.
But when the music stopped, and Mercedes had signed Lewis Hamilton, McLaren Sergio Perez and Ferrari stuck with Massa, di Resta was facing up to another year in the midfield at Force India.
To his credit, he didn't attempt to hide the disappointment at being overlooked for one of the sport's plum drives and has vowed to 'go again' in 2013 with the aim of securing his first F1 podium finish with the Silverstone-based team.
In many ways the 26-year-old already seems a firm fixture on the F1 grid, despite being set to enter just his third season at the top level.
Di Resta, a junior contemporary of Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, started his career in karting, racing in various series from 1994 until 2001 when he came up against Hamilton.
From karts he moved onto Formula Renault while in 2005, he rose up the ranks to the Formula Three Euroseries, winning the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of The Year Award. The following season he claimed the Championship, beating team-mate and reigning F1 World Champion Vettel.
Unable to find his way into the top level, the Scot hit the DTM series with Mercedes-Benz backing and in 2010 he won three races in a row on the way to claiming the Championship.
That same year, he got his foot in the F1 door as Force India's reserve driver. Di Resta took part in several Friday practice sessions, impressing team boss Vijay Mallya. In fact, he was so impressive that in January 2011, Mallya announced that the 24-year-old would be one his two race drivers for the Championship, teaming up with Adrian Sutil.
It may have been a long wait for di Resta but it was worth it as he claimed 27 points in his debut season to finish as the top rookie for 2011. He started his F1 career with a P14 grid position in Australia and although he crossed the finish line in 12th, he was promoted to 10th following the disqualification of the two Saubers.
He repeated the trick in Malaysia, but this time he was P10 when the chequered flag came down. At Silverstone di Resta started a career-best sixth place on the grid, but had to wait until the Hungarian GP to return to the points as he claimed seventh. Further points finishes in Italy, Singapore, Brazil and Abu Dhabi meant he had done more than enough to retain his seat for 2012, when he was partnered by another German in the form of Nico Hulkenberg.
At similar ages and with one full season of F1 apiece behind them, the di Resta/Hulkenberg match-up was one of the most eagerly-anticipated on the entire grid and it was the Scot who struck the early blows, finishing in the points in five of the first eight races.
But as the campaign progressed, and Hulkenberg got back in his stride after a year on the testing bench, it was the German who finished the year the stronger - and on the move - as di Resta's 2012 petered out after the high of a brilliant career-best fourth place in Singapore.
A crash which effectively brought the curtain down on the season in the rain of Interlagos was a depressing way to finish but with Force India as a whole ending 2012 in fighting form, the new season again promises much for F1's only Scot.