Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer refused to be drawn on where Oscar Piastri's F1 future lies despite confirming the Australian will be on the grid next season.
The reigning F2 champion has been left on the sidelines as Alpine's reserve driver as Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon remain contracted to the French manufacturer.
Piastri raised eyebrows on his way through the junior ranks, winning three championships in successive years before failing to find space on the F1 grid for the current campaign.
Asked what the plan for Piastri was within the team, Szafnauer explained: "We are contracted with Oscar, we have some options on him so there is no real need to hurry that.
"So we will take our time and at the right moment within the silly season, we will take a look around and make those types of decisions."
On whether he thinks Piastri will be on the F1 grid next year, Szafnauer replied: "Yes."
Pushed as to whether that was a 100 per cent guarantee, the American added: "We don't talk about the details of our contracts of our drivers and that is something that we never do.
"So as much as I would like to tell you, I don't think that I can. But when I do say yes, that is the plan."
Szafnauer won't predict future amid Williams rumours
Rumours circulating on social media suggested Piastri would need not wait too long for his F1 bow, with Williams interested in loaning Alpine's future star as a replacement for Nicholas Latifi.
When the rumours were put to him at the Canadian Grand Prix, Szafnauer conceded: "I have read the same. It is hard for me to predict the future on that so I would prefer not to.
"I don't have any more knowledge than you do."
Williams have no plans to swap drivers
Williams CEO and team principal Jost Capito insisted there were no plans to remove either Alex Albon, or as is more likely, Nicholas Latifi mid-season.
"Both have a contract for this season and that is what our plan is, to fulfil that," said Capito.
The team employed Albon, who was in a similar role to Piastri with Red Bull last season.
Asked if there was a similar deal to be done, Capito clarified: "We didn't do a deal with Red Bull on Alex, we did a deal with Alex on Alex and I think Oscar, for sure, he is ready to go into Formula 1.
"And I think he is one [that is] on the list, for sure."
Additional reporting by Ian Parkes