Valtteri Bottas will have to wait to discover if he will have a place on the F1 grid next season according to Williams shareholder Toto Wolff.
Bottas has impressed on a number of occasions this season while taking part in Friday practice and has been hotly tipped to earn a race seat as a result.
While the obvious role would be with Williams, Bottas could also earn a drive elsewhere on the grid if the Grove-based team elected to stick with Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna for 2013 but Wolff – who also acts at Bottas' manager – said it was too early to tell if the 22-year-old would be racing next year.
“No, we don't know yet,” he told Turan Sanomat
. “We have only just begun to think about the situation and the timing of the decision. We want to take (an overview of) the situation as a whole, rather than trying to do it a couple of weeks before Singapore.
“Sometimes [this season] he has exceeded our expectations, but we want to keep Valtteri's feet firmly on the ground rather than have him thinking he is a superstar before he is a superstar.”
Wolff did however add that Bottas would be top of the pile if Williams were to need a driver to fill in at all this season, with Maldonado being viewed by many as on thin ice when it comes to a possible race ban after Romain Grosjean was sidelined by the FIA for the Italian GP at Monza.
“Of course I don't hope that Pastor gets more penalties, and certainly not a ban,” Wolff said. “He wouldn't deserve that. He has certainly made mistakes, but he is aware of what has happened, and often the penalties have hurt him a lot.
“I don't want to see race bans, but if that were to happen, we have a third driver [in] Bottas ready to enter immediately.”