Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene has refused to turn down speculations of his team targeting Willams driver Valtteri Bottas as a potential replacement for Kimi Raikkonen.
Raikkonen, who re-signed for Ferrari in 2014, is out of contract at the end of the season, and there is a lot of uncertainty looming over the 35-year-old's future, with there being speculations of the Maranello-based team looking to make a move for Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, who is yet to sign a new deal with the Silver Arrows.
However, Arrivabene dismissed these rumours, insisting that Ferrari do not need another highly-rated diver when they already have someone like Sebastian Vettel.
"Why do I need Lewis Hamilton when I have a heavyweight like [Sebastian] Vettel? I would rather look around for a young, talented driver to unite with Sebastian."
As a result, Ferrari are being linked with a move for Bottas, with the media in Italy suggesting that the Finn has already penned a pre-contract to join the Maranello-based team in either 2016 or '17.
And although Arrivabene refused to confirm whether Ferrari have actually made a move for Bottas, he also did not deny the speculations.
"I promised in the pre-season that I would never lie to you [the media], but for this question it is too early to give a precise answer," Arrivabene told German publication Bild when asked about Ferrari's links with Bottas.
Although the 58-year-old says that Raikkonen's contract will most probably be extended if he continues to perform like the way he did at the Bahrain Grand Prix (where he finished second behind Mercedes' Hamilton), he insists that other factors will also be taken in consideration before they make a final decision on the Finn's future.
"If he continues like this, we will extend for another year. But performance alone is only one thing - I also like how he [Raikkonen] and Seb [Vettel] work together. They even sometimes travel together, so these are things that do influence a decision."