Sauber will announce their 2013 driver line-up before the end of the Formula One season but nothing has been decided yet, Monisha Kaltenborn, the team's chief executive said yesterday.
The Swiss-based team will have at least one vacancy after the Mexican, Sergio Perez, departs at the end of the year for McLaren-Mercedes to replace 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton, who is joining Mercedes-GP.
Asked when a decision would be made, Kaltenborn told Reuters: "In this season".
She played down speculation that it could depend on whether Ferrari, the team's engine suppliers, decided to retain Felipe Massa
"It has, for a change, nothing to do with Ferrari," said Kaltenborn of Sauber's options.
"I think we are doing our own decisions, and we will make our own calls and talk to who we want to. Then its up to the driver, whoever is concerned, where they want to go."
Kaltenborn said Kobayashi's performance would not matter either way.
"Had he not had done a good result we also would not have said, 'Now this is it. Because you could not do it, you're not going to be here next year'," she said.
"We are in the process of making our decision and we know him very well."
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