Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is hoping that Daniel Ricciardo can be convinced to re-sign with the team in the "early" part of 2018.
Ricciardo current Red Bull deal expires at the end of next season and is keeping his options open with a big-money move to either Mercedes or Ferrari potentially on the cards in 2019.
But the Aussie is also open to staying with Red Bull, but he wants to see evidence that the new car is capable of launching a World Championship bid from the start.
Red Bull, too, are in no immediate rush to resolve the situation, but would like to be able to agree an extension with Ricciardo in the next few months.
"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.
"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."
Red Bull also have a shortlist of replacement drivers in mind, should they not be able to strike an agreement with Ricciardo.
"It's always good to have options," Horner added. "We've invested a lot in the young driver programme over the years and we've got some great talent on the programme.
"We're certainly not short of options."