The Indian served as reserve driver for Team Lotus last season having made his F1 debut with HRT in 2010.
Chandhok started just one race for the team when he replaced Jarno Trulli at the German Grand Prix.
With spaces on the 2012 grid now few and far between - only Williams and HRT have race seats spare, although rumours persist that Trulli's seat at Team Lotus (now Caterham) is not secure - Chandhok has admitted that he faces another season on the sidelines.
"It's frustrating to watch the races and not doing it. But it is unlikely that I will race in 2012. The next best option is to continue as test and reserve driver and for that I am still talking to teams," the 27-year-old told the PTI.
"You know the way F1 is. A lot of decisions are made on commercial considerations. It's tough for us. It's not that people from the corporate world have not spoken to us but they are still analysing the sport."
Hoping for the best
Countryman Narain Karthikeyan has also admitted that he is unlikely to feature on the 2012 grid.
Even so, the 34-year-old has not given up hope after his one-year deal with HRT was not renewed.
"Things have been a little slow to be honest, with the Christmas and New Year's break. But with the holiday season now behind us we should be able to go ahead with our discussions as nothing has been finalised yet," Karthikeyan explained.
"There are only a few seats available on the grid for next year, so it's open I guess. We are hoping for the best. It is a question of many things coming together, not just what I want. So it is all up in the air as of now," he added.