Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur has insisted the team are in no rush to pick a second driver, due to the options available to them.
Several drivers have been frontrunners at some stage to take the coveted final seat on the grid next season, and Vasseur said the team want to take the necessary time to decide who will be the best fit for the team.
Alpine juniors Oscar Piastri and Guanyu Zhou have both been mentioned for the seat, alongside a shock new contender in IndyCar driver Colton Herta – whose name has come to the fore in light of reported interest in Andretti Autosport in investing in the Alfa Romeo Sauber team.
“We are not in a rush to take a decision but we have a couple of options on the table and we have to take time to decide,” Vasseur told reporters in Turkey.
“But we are not in a rush. The situation won’t change over the next couple of days and we will make a decision soon.”
But when pressed for the specific reason behind the hold-up, it was a relatively simple one: “Because we are discussing with all the parties involved at it is not an easy choice because we are at the beginning of the new regulations,” he explained.
“It is a new journey for F1 and we have to consider all the points that will make sense for us to have a look at the last events of the F2, from Monza and Sochi.
“The situation is like this and we will make a decision in the next couple of weeks.”
Piastri in particular has gained attention for his performances in Formula 2 this season, as he leads the championship standings and could be in line to take the title – following in the footsteps of winning the Formula 3/GP3 championship in consecutive years.
Being a junior driver with another team, however, presents a potential problem for Alfa Romeo – as Vasseur feels it would be “strange” to be able to prise him away from Alpine, after he joined their youth ranks in 2020.
“Oscar is doing a very good job and he was very consistent over the last weekends but as far as I know, and I understand, he is linked with Alpine,” said Vasseur. “Honestly, I didn’t discuss with Alpine about this.
“But if you invest in a driver through all the junior series and to have a long-term programme with him, I don’t see the point to let him go to another team in F1.
“It would be strange.”