Talks to renew world champion Lewis Hamilton's contract are finally looming, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has announced.
The British driver's current contract expires at the end of this year, and Wolff has already declared that Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas are at the front of the queue should Hamilton not stay.
Indeed, Germany's Sport Bild claims that Spaniard Alonso has a corresponding exit clause in his new McLaren-Honda deal.
"I cannot comment," Wolff insisted.
"Only this: it's always good to be prepared for all eventualities. Alternatives are always important. But they are alternatives, not priorities," he added.
At the end of last season, we did not want to disrupt Lewis' focus. Now he is back from vacation, we will sit together in the near future.
As for Hamilton's future, Wolff sounded optimistic that despite not yet agreeing a new deal, the two sides will ultimately stay together.
"We have not yet agreed because we have not sat down together," said the Austrian.
"At the end of last season, we did not want to disrupt Lewis' focus. Now he is back from vacation, we will sit together in the near future," Wolff revealed.
"I can say: both parties want to extend. For us, Lewis and Nico is the best and strongest driver combination and we therefore have no reason to change anything.
"Lewis feels good in the team," he added. "We give him the best car. That speaks for a common future."