Sep.9 (GMM) Valtteri Bottas is waiting in the wings at Williams, according to Toto Wolff.
Austrian Wolff doubles up as a Williams shareholder and executive as well as team reserve driver and Finn Bottas' manager.
In the context of Romain Grosjean's Monza race ban, the word in the paddock is that the FIA is also running thin on patience for Pastor Maldonado.
"Of course I don't hope that Pastor gets more penalties, and certainly not a ban," Wolff told Turun Sanomat newspaper.
"He wouldn't deserve that. He has certainly made mistakes, but he is aware of what has happened, and often the penalties have hurt him a lot.
"I don't want to see race bans, but if that were to happen, we have a third driver Valtteri Bottas ready to enter immediately," added Wolff.
Bottas, 22, has regularly practiced in Bruno Senna's Williams this year.
"Sometimes he has exceeded our expectations, but we want to keep Valtteri's feet firmly on the ground rather than have him thinking he is a superstar before he is a superstar," said Wolff.
Wolff also said it is too early to say if Bottas will have a full race seat in 2013.
"No, we don't know yet. We have only just begun to think about the situation and the timing of the decision," he said.
"We want to take (an overview of) the situation as a whole, rather than trying to do it a couple of weeks before Singapore."