Lewis Hamilton suggests it could be Christmas before he commits to Mercedes for 2021 and beyond by signing a contract.
Both the six-time world champion and Mercedes have repeated consistently that they are not looking to make a change - but talks over the 2021 deal are still long delayed.
Some think the 35-year-old is simply asking for too much money just as Mercedes parent Daimler is looking to drastically cut costs.
But team boss Toto Wolff's future is also not yet contractually guaranteed, while Mercedes is changing direction by vowing to more aggressively market its AMG brand in Formula 1.
"We want to give brands like AMG, EQ and Maybach a broader marketing base, that's true," Wolff insists.
"But the name Mercedes will not disappear from Formula 1 because of that. Our Formula 1 car will always be a Mercedes," he insisted.
Hamilton says he is also on board with Mercedes' moves to becoming "increasingly electrified with eco-friendly cars".
As for his contract, he answered: "We'll see. Certainly within a couple of months we will make a decision.
"I have always discussed three year contracts in my career, but this time it could be different. We will enter a different era in 2022 and there are many questions to ask.
"The priority is doing my job this year," Hamilton added. "At some point Toto and I will sit down and see how we can continue to work together.
"Whether it's a formality or not - contract talks are never easy. But I want to stay with this team and have not spoken to anyone else."