Sauber yet to decide on identity of Nico Hulkenberg's team-mate for 2013 season

Kamui Kobayashi's seat under threat from young challengers

Last Updated: 02/11/12 4:50pm

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Sauber have reiterated that they are yet to make a decision on the identity of their second driver for next season but confirmed that they will make their choice within the next three weeks.

With Sergio Perez bound for McLaren, the Sauber outfit announced on Wednesday that the Mexican's place will be filled by Nico Hulkenberg following the German driver's transfer from Force India.

However, the position of current driver Kamui Kobayashi is still widely believed to be in jeopardy, with Mexican youngster Esteban Gutierrez, who debuted for the team during Practice One in India, among those linked with his seat.

Dutchman Robin Frijns will run at next week's Young Driver Test alongside the 21-year-old Gutierrez and is another contender to replace Kobayashi, with team boss Monisha Kaltenborn admitting on Friday that Sauber are still evaluating their options.

"We've not made a decision on the second seat as yet," Kaltenborn told Sky Sports F1. "We know him [Kobayashi] well and we know his qualities. But we will announce during the season - and it's not that long any more."

On the one hand, whilst Kobayashi has three more races in which to make a persuasive case for his retention, it's also thought likely that both Frijns and Gutierrez will be promoted to a full race seat for 2013 if they impress at the Young Driver Test which takes place at Abu Dhabi from Tuesday through to Thursday next week.

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