Nico Rosberg believes Pierre Gasly's form so far this season has earned him the right to be a Red Bull driver in 2022.
Gasly has been a standout performer in F1's midfield, regularly featuring in the top eight despite AlphaTauri's supposed inferiority to McLaren and Ferrari in the battle for third in the constructors' standings.
The Frenchman was dropped midway through the 2019 season but has since gone on to claim his maiden F1 win with AlphaTauri, with Rosberg believing he deserves to partner Max Verstappen again next season.
"The way he is performing at the moment, they should put him in the Red Bull next year," the 2016 F1 champion told Sky Sports F1.
"The problem is that they have this worry that he is maybe not able to deal with those pressure situations.
"In AlphaTauri at the moment, there is no pressure, his team-mate is away from him, he can be a team leader in an easy way.
"If you go as a team-mate to Max Verstappen, that is like the toughest situation to be in in the whole of Formula 1.
"That is why Red Bull has such difficulty in answering and that is the problem with choosing him and making it so difficult."
Verstappen is "just absolutely phenomenal"
Since Daniel Ricciardo departed Red Bull at the end of 2018, neither Gasly in his brief spell nor Alex Albon were able to gain any parity with Verstappen, leading to them being dropped.
With Sergio Perez's form inconsistent across the first half of the campaign, Rosberg has hailed Verstappen's talent.
"It is phenomenal how Red Bull is throwing in these incredible drivers that Max Verstappen has as team-mates and no one can ever get with five-tenths of a second per lap," he added.
"At one point we have to say this - Verstappen is just absolutely phenomenal."