Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says he wants Daniel Ricciardo to stay with the team but claims to have alternative options.
The Austrian outfit have lost their mantle as top dogs in Formula 1 having guided powered Sebastian Vettel to four consecutive world titles between 2010 and 2013, Mercedes and Ferrari jumping ahead of them since the V6 era started.
Red Bull won just three of 20 races last season with Riccardo’s only triumph coming in an incident-packed Azerbaijan Grand Prix, and the Australian is seemingly not jumping to commit his future to the team.
The 28-year-old has previously said it is "the biggest decision" of his career as to whether he stays with Red Bull, a team he has been with for a decade, or move to pastures new.
However, Horner is remaining pragmatic about the contract situation.
"We've just come through a long hard season, so the last thing we're going to be doing is getting into the depths of contract discussions," Horner told Sky Sports News.
"But I think early in the new year, once we've seen how the car's performing, how things are panning out, then it's our priority to make sure that we retain Daniel in the team until at least 2020."