Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has confirmed a decision as to who will partner Max Verstappen next season is now unlikely to be taken until after the end of the season.
Red Bull and Horner find themselves in the luxurious position of having time on their side to select a second driver, be it Alex Albon, Sergio Perez, or even Nico Hülkenberg.
Albon has long appeared in danger of losing his seat given a string of poor results and performances since collecting his maiden podium in the Tuscan Grand Prix, scoring one point from the last four races.
That has brought Perez, in particular, and Hülkenberg into the discussion, but with Red Bull eager to give Albon every opportunity to secure his place for 2021, there is no rush, especially with virtually no other seats available.
After describing Albon's Friday practice for the Turkish Grand Prix as "probably his best for quite a while", Horner added: "As we’ve said all along, we want to see Alex lay claim to that seat.
"The difference is the alternatives we have, all the seats are full, so that buys us a bit of time to make the most informed decision as we can and give Alex as much time as we can, as much support as we can, and see what happens over the remaining three or four races."
In terms of making that decision, Horner said: "We’re not putting a particular timescale on it. Alex’s contract allows us to make that decision after the season.
"Obviously, we’re aware of what the options are. All the other seats are committed in F1 apart from Mercedes, and I doubt Lewis [Hamilton] will be joining us next season."
Cheekily, Horner added: "But you never know."
Before you go...
Rain brings added chaos to "terrifying" Istanbul Park track in final practice
F1 will race on if rain strikes treacherous Turkey track– Albon