Williams is looking at the possibility of signing Esteban Ocon for the 2019 season, but would need more financial backing from the French driver in order to complete the deal.
Ocon is likely to leave Force India at the end of the year as Lance Stroll looks set to join the Silverstone squad. The pink panthers confirmed on Thursday that Sergio Perez would occupy one of the seats next year, while Ocon's future remains up in the air.
Ocon had verbal contracts in place with Renault and McLaren prior to the summer break, however deals with both teams failed to produce anything solid. Williams remains his last chance for a seat in F1 next year, as Toro Rosso doesn't want to sign him due to his Mercedes links.
Martini will be leaving Williams as its title sponsor at the end of the 2018 season, and with that, a heavy chunk of finance. Williams would need to ensure that they would be safe on the money side while signing Ocon following a deal it set in place with George Russell.
It is believed that there were no commercial obligations between Mercedes and Williams when the Grove squad signed Mercedes junior Russell for the 2019 season. However, in doing so, Williams needs its second driver to bring significant funding.
"It was good to see that George is promoted," Ocon said on the build-up to the US Grand Prix. "He's also part of the Mercedes junior programme, and he's signed for multiple years, and that was not our intention to sign for that many years.
"There's still a second seat at Williams, there's still talks, so we'll see where that goes," he confirmed. "Congratulations to George. He's in a different way in his career than I am. He was not at all stealing my spot, that was not the way it happened."
Ocon faces competition for the seat from current driver Sergey Sirotkin and reserve driver Robert Kubica, who is believed to have secured additional funding in a bid for the race seat next year.