Mercedes have confirmed they will not announce Nico Rosberg's replacement until January at the earliest.
The Silver Arrows have a high-profile void to fill after the German unexpectedly announced his retirement from Formula One at the age of 31, just five days after winning the world championship for the first time.
Rosberg held off team-mate and 2015 title-winner Lewis Hamilton to claim the crown, finishing second behind the Englishman at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last month.
A host of drivers have been touted as possible candidates to secure the coveted vacancy with the sport's dominant force, with Valtteri Bottas and Pascal Wehrlein the favourites after two-time world champion Fernando Alonso said this week his "only goal" is winning another title at McLaren.
Non-executive chairman Niki Lauda previously suggested Mercedes would announce Rosberg's replacement before the end of a year, but a team spokesperson on Friday informed the media a decision will not be made public until 2017.