Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has reiterated his desire to retain the services of Daniel Ricciardo until at least 2020.
Last month, Horner described Ricciardo and his young team-mate, Max Verstappen, as the "best driver line-up in Formula One".
However, the Australian is about to enter the final 12 months of his contract and speculation over his future continues to swirl, with Mercedes and Ferrari both finishing comfortably ahead of Red Bull in the 2017 constructors' standings.
"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.
"It's the first time he's effectively a free agent. It's also a critical time in his career, he's 28 years of age.
"This next step is going to be crucial for him and we just want to make sure we give him the right car to be able to deliver his potential."
Should negotiations with Ricciardo, a winner of five races in his four seasons with Red Bull's senior team, not progress in positive fashion, Horner insists his team have plenty of alternatives.
"We've invested a lot in the young driver programme over the years and we've got some great talent on the programme," he added.
"We're certainly not short of options."
23 de enero 2018
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|Guardiola: Quadruple-chasing City will only be judged on trophies|
|Karsiyaka and Nymburk reach FIBA Champions League last 16|
|Batshuayi out of chances to convince Conte|
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|Sevilla 3 Atletico Madrid 1 (5-2 agg): Griezmann stunner not enough for semi spot|
|Bristol City 2 Manchester City 3 (3-5 agg): Guardiola through to first English final|
|Serena can return for more grand slam success – King|
|O´Neill signs Ireland extension|
|Teachers bowled over by Edmund ability|
|Woods grouped with Reed and Hoffman at Torrey Pines|
|New signing Jach sees Palace as platform for World Cup spot|
|Thomas replaces Sinckler in England training camp|
|Phil Neville appointed England Women´s manager|
|Heat unveil Miami Vice-themed uniforms|
|Kenedy leaves Chelsea for Newcastle loan|
|Wozniacki still haunted by 2011 Li Na loss|
|PSG rule out ´traumatic´ injury for Mbappe|
|PSG boost midfield options with surprise Diarra signing|
|Dyche commits to Burnley to 2022|
|Patriots elect to wear white in Super Bowl LII|
|Kobe Bryant´s ´Dear Basketball´ short film nominated for Oscar|
|Zidane tells Real Madrid fans to stop jeering Benzema|
|Players must manage their own schedules, says Cilic|
|Lucas Moura free to leave PSG, confirms Emery|
|Kenedy set for Newcastle as Conte waits for window to close|
|Bouchard agrees to another Super Bowl date|
|Neymar and Mbappe in doubt for PSG´s clash with Guingamp|
|Targeting the backhand, attacking the net and 83 winners: How Cilic subdued Nadal|
|Mascherano to leave Barcelona as Hebei move looms|
|Wozniacki reaches Australian Open semi-finals in early hours|
|Conte rules Morata and Fabregas out of Arsenal clash|
|Tamim and Shakib leave Zimbabwe facing tri-nation exit|
|Clarets snap up Lennon from Everton|
|Too many people are getting injured - Nadal frustrated by Aus Open retirement|
|Dzeko set to face Sampdoria despite Chelsea reports|
|It´s really unfortunate for Rafa - Cilic sympathises with injured Nadal|
|Zidane rejects suggestions he won ´battle´ over Kepa|
|Surprise semi-finalist Mertens ready for more Melbourne magic|
|Sorry Stars fail to shine again as Sixers claim consolation win|
|Injured Nadal bows out of Australian Open to Cilic|
|Ramos trains for Real Madrid as wounded Ronaldo works indoors|
|Wijnaldum admits Liverpool ´gave a half away´ against Swansea|
|I know what it feels like to be Andy Murray - Edmund revels in limelight|
|Wenger: Arsenal are about values, not millions|
|Gracious Dimitrov says Edmund deserved to win|
|Aubameyang to Arsenal not close, says Wenger|
|Hernandez open to West Ham exit|
|Superstar Sanchez will lift Manchester United squad, says Giggs|
|De Bruyne 2023: The sensational displays that won Manchester City´s talisman a new deal|
|How new recruit Sanchez compares to Manchester United´s forwards|
|Edmund claims shock win over Dimitrov to reach Aus Open semis|
|Cousins posts one of greatest stat lines in NBA history|
|Rockets close gap on Warriors by beating Heat|
|Lucas ´not happy´ at PSG|
|Svitolina reveals hip injury struggles|
|´Dangerous´ Cilic can beat Nadal, says Philippoussis|
|Mertens stuns Svitolina in Melbourne|
|Stones: Quadruple chase will take its toll on City|
|Klopp sorry for fan confrontation|
|Cowboys VP Jones calls out Bryant for sideline eruptions|
|Durant: Capela talking trash because of his easy role with Rockets|
|Buffon guaranteed to start on Juventus return, assures Allegri|
|Philander hails ´phenomenal talent´ Ngidi|
|Stokes to join England squad after court appearance|
|Giants hire Shurmur as next head coach|
|Liverpool´s win over City feels like six months ago for Klopp|
22 de enero 2018
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|Smith unconvinced by Kohli leadership|
|Swansea City 1 Liverpool 0: Mawson ends Reds´ unbeaten run|