Williams boss James Vowles has remained coy over the future of Logan Sargeant, as the final seat on the 2024 grid remains up for grabs.
Sargeant scored just a single point in his rookie season, compared to 27 for team-mate Alex Albon as Williams held onto seventh in the Constructors' in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for its best result since 2017.
The Floridian has made steps forward, but the team is yet to announce him, with Liam Lawson touted as a potential replacement, although this is understood to be an unlikely move.
When asked after the Yas Marina finale to confirm Sargeant, Vowles would not, insisting he would take his time to study Sargeant's case for a second season.
"I'm afraid you're getting ahead of yourself, but whatever happens, Logan has been part of our academy for many, many years," he told F1TV when cool-down lap comments from Sargeant's engineer meant a renewal was imminent.
"He always will remain a part of our academy, he is still an excellently quick driver, but I think if we look at the last five races, he has been improving and stepping forward.
"There are signs he is doing what we need to earn the seat, but I am not in a position to confirm that.
"The main thing I wanted him to be aware of is that I'm proud of the steps he's taken across this year and we have a lot of time across the winter."