Red Bull "can take our time" before officially confirming the identity of Max Verstappen's teammate for 2020.
That is the claim of team boss Christian Horner, even though Alex Albon is clearly the favourite to keep the seat.
"After his accident and the front wing change, he was the fastest driver on the track. The way he fought his way through the field was phenomenal," Horner told Auto Motor und Sport, referring to the US GP in Austin.
Albon is now sixth in the drivers' world championship, "even though he has only done seven races for us", Horner added.
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"His development is very impressive. I don't think it will take much longer before he can drive right at the front."
But for now, Red Bull says Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly are technically in the running to be promoted for 2020.
"We will not make any hasty decisions. All the drivers are under contract, so we can take our time," Horner said.
McLaren driver Carlos Sainz, a former Verstappen teammate, says he doesn't regret leaving the Red Bull programme and therefore his chance of securing the seat.
"It doesn't matter who will be next to Verstappen next season, as he will remain the first driver. So it doesn't affect me at all," the Spaniard told Sky Italia.