Ferrari believes that it will be able to come to a swift agreement with Sebastian Vettel over his future with the team, insisting he remains the team’s number one choice.
Four-time Formula 1 World Champion Vettel joined Ferrari in 2015 and his current deal, which was agreed mid-2017, expires at the end of the campaign.
Vettel has twice finished runner-up in the championship for Ferrari though last year slipped to fifth, classifying behind new team-mate Charles Leclerc.
“Seb is our first option, as I always mentioned it’s a great line-up, probably the best in F1, of which I am very happy and proud as Ferrari,” said team boss Mattia Binotto.
“We started the early discussion with Seb and we are very aware that the contract is extinguishing, but it will come very soon to close the discussion and see what is in the best interest in both of us.
“What’s more important is the project which we’re sharing, even our longer-term view. I’m sure very soon we’ll come to an agreement.”
Vettel added that the hunger to deliver a title to Ferrari remains the same as when he joined the team in 2015.
“I’ve been around now for a while but I still love what I do, I love driving,” he said.
“I got really excited when I got in the car last week and very quickly got back into a rhythm and that feels great, the satisfaction you get from driving the car, I would still say feels the same.
“I’m here to win and in that regard we had recent years, some were good, better than others, but none of them had been to our liking at the very end.
“I joined Ferrari to win the championship, we haven’t done that so far, it’s been a couple of years now, but the hunger, will and determination is still there inside the team. We are here to fight.”