Perhaps Frijns should’ve swallowed his pride and sought after some funding.
I don’t think Frijns has ever put forward the belief that he deserves to be judged on his talent and his talent alone. I think he’s been looking for funding, but he has struggled to find it. There aren’t many Dutch sponsors willing to get involved – the only reason why Giedo van der Garde has any is because of his familial connection to McGregor.
If Frijns wants to get on the grid, then I think his best shot is Williams. I could see Toto Wolff using his influence to get Valtteri Bottas promoted to Force India with a nice engine subsidy for the team (but I also think they’d be getting a decent driver). This would create a vacancy at Williams. Of course, Frijns needs funding, but that problem is solved by the team’s existing sponsors. They get money from the Astana Group, a collection of businesses run by the Kazakh government to promote Kazakhstan. And since they don’t have the demand for a Kazakh driver, they’re not picky about who they back. They supported Daniel Juncadella through the junior ranks, and admittedly enough, he’d be the front-runner if Bottas (or Maldonado) left the team and Astana wanted to step up the level of investment. But given Frijns’ credentials and the popular demand for him to be in Formula 1, I think Astana would listen.
But it’s a remote chance. I think the ship has sailed and Frijns won’t be making the transition to Formula 1 any time soon – if ever.