Ferrari has revealed it is considering turning Sauber into a junior team so it could become a Formula 1 proving ground for its young drivers.
On the back of Sauber ditching its planned Honda engine deal in favour of continuing its long relationship with Ferrari, there has been talk that the new partnership would go beyond just a straightforward customer supply.
Sauber team principal Frederic Vasseur suggested over the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend that drivers would form part of that discussion, especially with Ferrari keen to find places for youngsters Antonio Giovinazzi and Charles Leclerc.
Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne thinks it essential his Maranello team does something to make sure its young drivers get race experience in F1.
When asked if Sauber could become a junior team for the Ferrari young driver programme, Marchionne said: "It is an excellent idea and something we are working on.
"We need space because we have a couple of young drivers that are exceptional.
"We need to find a place to lay the foundations for the Scuderia Ferrari of tomorrow."
Marchionne has also suggested that Ferrari is eager to help support even more teams in the future, amid rumours that new entrants are looking at joining the grid.
"Maurizio [Arrivabene] has worked hard in recent months," added Marchionne.
"Going forward we will expand the number of customer teams.
"Both with [F1 owner] Liberty Media with the FIA, we have made a commitment to give support to the teams that are going to come. The more there are, the better for us."