Marussia has signed GP2 driver Max Chilton – who is currently fifth in this year's F1 support category – to be its reserve for the rest of the season.
As soon as the announcement was made, insiders said Chilton is surely now the favorite to replace Charles Pic, should the well-funded Frenchman move as is strongly rumored to Caterham next year.
Chilton is also well funded, with his father Grahame being the vice-chairman of the Aon insurance group and a big motor racing fan.
Aon sponsors Chilton in GP2, as well as the touring car team that runs Tom Chilton, who is Max's brother.
The Daily Mail said Chilton could be fast-tracked into F1 action, perhaps initially in Friday practice for the Abu Dhabi grand prix.
And team boss John Booth said Chilton will be "fully prepared to step into the MR01 (car) should it be required".