Pascal Wehrlein has admitted that Sauber would be a good option for him in 2017 as his Mercedes chiefs weigh up where to place the young German next year.
Wehrlein is a front-runner for a switch to Sauber next season after an encouraging debut year for Manor, but there remains a possibility he could stay with his current outfit too.
Although the decision is ultimately out of his hands, Wehrlein says that both options would be good for him.
When asked if his preference was staying with Manor, he said: “I like the team. So I’m feeling really happy in the team.
"Already many people here are friends of mine who want to meet in the winter and go skiing or snowboarding, so it’s nice.
"I’m feeling great in the team and it’s great to see the progress and everything, so yeah, why not.
“But Sauber is a great team as well. There’s also some history with Mercedes and Mercedes junior drivers.
“It’s kind of strange at the moment because we are fighting against Sauber but it’s said that it could happen that I’m next year with Sauber.
"But I will focus on this year and I really think that Sauber is a great team with a lot of potential. Let’s see what happens in the future.”
Wehrlein said he did not know when a final decision would be made on where he is racing in 2017, although said he hoped it would be soon.
“Yeah, it could be that it will be decided next year,” he explained. “But I hope that it will be this year, because then in winter you can prepare.
“You know, it’s a different way of thinking going into next year when you know what you are doing. You can start to prepare with the team, with your fitness training and stuff like that. So always mentally it’s better to know as soon as possible to get prepared for what happens.”
Asked if he would have any say on the matter with his Mercedes bosses, Wehrlein said: “It depends. If the options are kind of equal, then yes, I can chose which one I would prefer.
"But normally, you know, there’s always some options and if one is a lot better than the other one, then you go for the better one. So let’s see.”
Felipe Nasr's chances of staying at Sauber took a hit when sponsor Banco do Brasil announced on Thursday that it will not continue its sponsorship deal with the Hinwil-based outfit.