Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes that when it comes to the team's 2020 line-up, Esteban Ocon is just as worthy of a seat at the Silver Arrows outfit as incumbent Valtteri Bottas.
Ocon has been biding his time this season following his forced exit from Racing Point at the end of last year, serving as Mercedes' official reserve driver.
Wolff said recently that Mercedes would likely make the final determination regarding its line-up in the coming weeks, with Bottas and Ocon seen as the front-runners to fill the plum seat alongside Lewis Hamilton.
"We have a top driver in Valtteri, we are aware of that," Wolff told Germany's Die Welt.
"But we also have this exciting young driver Esteban Ocon, who has earned his place in Formula 1.
"If only I had one of the two, the decision would be very clear, then I would put him in the car.
"But we have both and both deserve a chance with Mercedes; and that's why we'll be considering what the best option is in the coming weeks."
Until the start of the summer, Bottas appeared on track to be signed-up for a third season with Mercedes. But the Finn's performances have stagnated recently.
Last weekend at Hockenheim, Bottas wasted a chance of securing a good haul of points for himself and his team when he crashed out of the race with 8 laps to go.
Yet, the Mercedes driver doesn't feel his future will be determined by one mistake, although he admitted that the timing of his mishap in Germany wasn't great.
"For sure it was not ideal in terms of that, but it happens," said Bottas.
"Unfortunately, it was a mistake that happened at the wrong time, but I was also trying hard, pushing hard, which is what the team wants to see.
"I don’t think one mistake or one race is going to change anything. That’s my answer coming here.
"I should really not think about it, I need to perform at my best, and focus on that. I know I can do well, so I’ll try to do that this weekend.
"Then it’s a lot up to the team with the decision, then we see. But no stress, full gas."