Felipe Massa – and any possible replacement for the Brazilian at Ferrari – may have to wait beyond next weekend's Italian Grand Prix to learn where they will be driving in 2014.
While team-mate Fernando Alonso is still being linked with a surprise move to Red Bull, it is Massa's seat that is most likely to need a new occupant next season, with the Brazilian again needing to raise his game to earn another year at Maranello. While team principal Stefano Domenicali has spoken of his preference for continuity as F1 heads into a new technical era, the powers that be may decide that the introduction of a new engine and drivetrain package is the perfect time to usher in a replacement.
Much could hinge on Red Bull's quest for Mark Webber's replacement, with Kimi Raikkonen still among the list of candidates. The Finn has also been listed as a possible team-mate for Alonso in 2014 and, while RBR hovers between Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo, Maranello may have to wait to make its own mind up.
Nico Hulkenberg, Jules Bianchi, Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta have all been linked to Massa's seat over the past twelve months, and it is the Sauber driver who is understood to have a head-start when it comes to possibly taking over from the Brazilian this time around.
While Monza has traditionally been the scene for some of Ferrari's biggest announcements, it now appears that a decision on next year's line-up could drag on into the end-of-season 'flyaways'.
"I'm sorry to disappoint all those with feverish imaginations, who are awaiting Monza in trepidation, but this particular presumed custom is a non-starter," the anonymous 'Horse Whisperer' wrote in his latest column on the Ferrari website, “In fact, all one needs to do is look at the facts. From 1991, only twice, in 2006 and 2008, has the team's home grand prix provided the backdrop to an announcement regarding the drivers.
“There are no announcements on the horizon. Why? Because no decisions have yet been taken. Furthermore, as happens in the best families, important decisions are taken together at the right moment and not because a certain date on the calendar has been reached.”