Whether Lewis Hamilton stays at Mercedes beyond 2018 is one question; whether Valtteri Bottas does enough to earn another contract extension is another. Either way, Mercedes has an opening for 2019 - and should grab Daniel Ricciardo to fill it.
When Mercedes turns its attention to nailing down its drivers for the 2019 Formula 1 season, it will not be short of options. Keeping hold of Lewis Hamilton, champion in three of the past four years, will be its priority, but the occupant of the second seat is less certain.
Valtteri Bottas is in a strong position as the incumbent but he will need to take a big step forward this year, while Mercedes junior Esteban Ocon would be a fine choice for promotion.