Sebastien Buemi has joined his axed teammate Jaime Alguersuari in admitting this week's news from Red Bull was a nasty shock.
Le Matin newspaper said Swiss Buemi, 23, missed the mobile phone calls from bosses Franz Tost and Dr Helmut Marko earlier this week because he was driving the Barcelona track in the Red Bull simulator, and visiting Toro Rosso's UK wind tunnel.
"I was shocked," he admitted. "I had been told a decision would be made before the end of the year, but I was under the impression that my contract would be extended.
"I was not expecting it at all."
Buemi, 23, told Blick newspaper: "I have to accept it even if it is very hard to understand."
His options appear limited, with interviewer Roger Benoit pointing out that the vacancies - at Williams and HRT - are likely to be filled by drivers with millions in sponsor backing.
"There are drivers that are signed not only for the money," Buemi insisted.
Blick asked Buemi if a third driver role is also a possibility.
"Maybe there are options," he admitted, "but it's still too early to say anything.
"Fortunately in the past years I have built up many contacts with most of the teams. So this pays off now."
"No, but I will. Just like that," said the veteran of 55 races, who promptly asked the well-connected Blick journalist Roger Benoit for the phone number.