Dan Ticktum has given a strong hint that he might be about to make his move into Formula 1.
In July, Red Bull wanted the 19-year-old F3 driver to replace Brendon Hartley at Toro Rosso.
Readying young drivers
But FIA rules meant Ticktum couldn't get the super license even to test for the Italian team after the Hungarian grand prix.
"How are we supposed to bring our young drivers to F1?" Dr Helmut Marko complained.
But it is believed Ticktum will now test after Abu Dhabi, and he didn't deny that formula one in 2019 could be the next logical step.
"I'm in F3 so I cannot answer that. Sorry, I'd like to but I cannot.
There is nothing confirmed at the moment. Of course it helps to win, but this is F3 and there is still a long way to go," he said.
Another contender to replace the probably Red Bull-bound Pierre Gasly for 2019 is Lando Norris, who could be traded by McLaren in exchange for an early start for new technical boss James Key.
"We do not want to comment yet in relation to 2019," a source close to 18-year-old Norris said.