Christian Horner says Red Bull is not putting a timescale on its decision to retain or not Alex Albon for 2021, as no other alternatives in F1 currently exist for the British-Thai driver.
Albon's under-performance relative to teammate Max Verstappen has cast a cloud of uncertainty over the 24-year-old's future with Red Bull.
Horner has repeatedly said that it was up to Albon to stake his claim to the coveted second seat alongside Verstappen.
Red Bull initially intended to decide its 2021 line-up before the end of the season. But with no opportunities for Albon to join another team, the Milton Keynes-based outfit can afford to wait until the end of the season to make a final call.
"Looking at today, he's had a pretty decent day, probably his best Friday for quite a while," said Horner after Friday's opening day of running at the Turkish Grand Prix.
"As I've said all along, we want to see Alex lay claim to that seat. I think the difference is that [with] the alternatives we have, all the seats are full in Formula 1.
"So that buys us a little bit of time to make the most informed decision that we can, and of course give Alex as much time as we can and as much support as we can, and see what happens over the remaining three or four races."
A demotion for Albon back to Red Bull's sister team AlphaTauri isn't on the cards as the Faenza squad appears committed to running Japanese novice Yuki Tsunoda alongside Pierre Gasly.
While Haas has yet to confirm its 2021 plans, all signs point to the US outfit opting for an all-rookie line-up, with Mick Schumacher and well-funded Russian F2 racer Nikita Mazepin.
In the event that Albon should be dismissed, free agents Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg are Red Bull's two most likely replacement options. But Horner repeated that the team would take its time to decide its line-up.
"We're not putting any particular timescale on it," added the Briton.
"Alex's contract allows us to make that decision after the season. Obviously we're aware of what the other options are.
"As I say, all the other seats are committed now in Formula 1, apart from Mercedes, and I doubt that Lewis will be joining us next season. But you never know."