Frederic Vasseur says that Sauber will decide who it will place alongside Kimi Raikkonen for the 2019 season "soon". The Hinwil outfit announced that Raikkonen would be re-joining next year, while its current driver Charles Leclerc heads to Ferrari.
A number of drivers have been linked to the second seat. Marcus Ericsson, who has raced for Sauber since 2015 could stay for a fifth consecutive season, while Ferrari junior Antonio Giovinazzi has been rumoured to be in contention for the drive.
Sauber has enjoyed an upturn in performance this year after spending two years at the back of the grid. It has bagged 19 points so far in 2018, and will soon decide who will partner Raikkonen next season as it continues its build back towards the midfield.
"Please, the last two weeks for me have been a bit in a rush on the driver market, so if I can have some days off from this?!" said team principal Vasseur. "After Singapore, we will sit down with all the persons involved in the discussions, and we will take a decision quite soon. I think it’s also good for the team to have a clear answer, but it will be soon."
Sauber is believed to be waiting on a call from Ferrari on whether it wants Giovinazzi in at the team next year. The Italian has already raced twice for Sauber, stepping in for the injured Pascal Wehrlein at the Australian and Chinese Grands Prix in 2017.
Ferrari currently has Giovinazzi and Daniil Kvyat doing simulator work for the team. However, Kvyat is set to return to Toro Rosso next year, and Ferrari may be reluctant to let Giovinazzi go if it meant it had to search for another simulator driver with recent F1 experience.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing