The Toyota driver, who was ruled out of the last race of the season by injury, wants to remain in Formula One racing. But he says will not drive for anyone just to stay in the sport.
And as behind-the-scenes negotiations have dragged on, he has taken up the offer of a Penske test in America.
McNish was expecting to learn on Tuesday whether the leg injury that ruled him out of the Suzuka race had healed as expected so the test is not jeopardised.
He injured his leg in a 170mph shunt in qualifying at 130R, the fastest corner on the circuit, and fluid below his knee meant that doctors would not let him race.
"Of course I haven't been able to get the points but I think I have had a chance to give a good account of myself and show what I can do," said the Scot.
"I want to stay in Formula One if I can but only if I get the right drive."
The Penske offer looks tempting for McNish who loves competitive racing above all else. "Toyota want to keep our association going, which is nice, and the offer of the test came up so that should happen in the next few weeks," he commented.
Gil de Ferran made his return to the cockpit as he became the first person to drive the Toyota in IRL last week, getting back in action for the first time since his heavy accident at Chicagoland on September 8.
McNish failed to score points for Toyota in his debut season but ran close to veteran Mika Salo. While the Finn, who was racing with blue hair in Japan, scored a couple of points in Australia and Brazil, McNish's best result was in the Malaysian GP, when he was seventh. He was 19th in the championship and Salo 17th.