The incoming Haas F1 team says it is hoping to have a decision on which drivers will spearhead its maiden season in Formula 1 by the end of September.
On course to make its debut in 2016, speculation over who will be earmarked to drive with the American team has been rife in recent weeks, with several candidates being put forward.
Favourites for the drive are believed to include former Sauber driver Esteban Gutierrez, former Toro Rosso driver Jean-Eric Vergne and possibly also Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg, as well as leading GP2 contender Alexander Rossi.
Though Haas itself hasn't explicitly named any particular drivers for consideration, team principal Gunther Steiner does admit experience will ultimately play a significant factor in the decision-making process.
“By September I hope we have got the decision for at least one, if not two - ideally it would be two – drivers,” he told the official F1 website. “We have got interesting candidates, which is very nice for us. We have got drivers with a good reputation who are talking to us seriously, so I hope we can pull some of them off.”
“We are a new team, we need to be conscious that we need some known quantities,” he said. “Everything else is new. You know, the whole team is new people put together, the first car we make… it's a lot of unknowns.
“So we need a known quantity in there which in the end can tell us, 'Hey guys, I think the car is good, but this part of the team doesn't work,' or, 'The team works good - I've got a good relationship with my race engineers - but the car isn't good.'
“We need somebody who can actually see where we are, so we need experience. And if the experience is coming with speed, even better."