Ferrari will not turn to Sergio Perez to partner Fernando Alonso next season as president Luca di Montezemolo says they need "more experience."
Although Ferrari have not made a decision on under-fire driver Felipe Massa's future - and "never take a decision before the second half of the season" - questions are being asked about who will replace him should his team opt to drop him.
While in recent weeks Mark Webber has been touted as the most likely candidate to partner Alonso in a one-year deal, earlier this year it was Perez who was the hot favourite.
The Mexican, who drives for the Ferrari-powered Sauber team, finished runner-up to Alonso in the Malaysian Grand Prix, sparking rumours that he could even replace Massa mid-way through this season.
Both Perez and Sauber were quick to deny the rumours.
However, the 22-year-old has subsequently stated that while he is "very comfortable" at Sauber, he wants "to win races as soon as possible."
That, though, won't be with Ferrari next season as di Montezemolo has poured cold water over the suggestion.
"No," the Italian told Reuters. "Perez is a good driver but to drive a Ferrari you need more experience.
"I think he is one of the potential best young drivers for the future but before putting a young driver in a Ferrari I need more experience and more results."
As for Massa, di Montezemolo says he has not been ruled out of next year's equation as long as he continues to improve. Massa achieved a season-high of P6 at the previous race in Monaco.
"I'm sure that, because we are improving our car, the car will be less difficult to drive," he said.
"And I expect from Felipe better performances as I have already seen in Monte Carlo, because in Monte Carlo he was among the five quickest drivers on the track and in the qualifiers.
"So I hope he will continue like this. At the moment we are not taking any decision yet for the future, because it is too early."