Mercedes believes working out how to give multiple drivers Formula 1 seats next season is a "good problem to have", according to its motorsport boss Toto Wolff
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas both need new deals beyond the end of this season to stay with the works team, while Mercedes junior Esteban Ocon is waiting in the wings at its Force India customer outfit.
Mercedes reserve driver George Russell has also indicated Mercedes will help him into F1 next season if he performs well in Formula 2 in 2018.
When asked by Autosport about its 2019 headache, Wolff replied: "It is a good problem to have.
"We are very satisfied how Valtteri has been going these days, and [with] Lewis we don't need to talk about - he is the best of the current drivers in my opinion.
"Then you have these kids growing up, like Ocon and George.
"I am optimistic about the future Mercedes line-up."
Hamilton and Mercedes have both indicated that extending their relationship, which started in 2013, is a mere formality.
"We haven't talked for a few days or few weeks because it was so intense getting our act together with the team and all our priority has been concentrated on that," Wolff said in Azerbaijan.
"But we are very aligned with what we expect from each other in the future and it is just finding time to sit down."
Mercedes signed Bottas following Nico Rosberg's shock retirement after he won the 2016 world championship.
Bottas earned a one-year extension for 2018 and strong form since his qualifying crash at the Australian Grand Prix has boosted his prospects of a new deal.
Wolff said: "We are not looking at drivers outside Mercedes at the moment because we have to give support to our guys, that is the priority.
"It is like if you are happy with your wife, you don't look elsewhere!
"Give us a few more races and then I will have a better view."
If Mercedes retains Bottas for another season alongside Hamilton, then Ocon is almost certain to extend his stay at Force India to a third year.
Force India is unlikely to shuffle out Sergio Perez, who brings good backing and emphasised his value as one of F1's top midfield operators with a surprise podium in Azerbaijan last weekend.
If the Force India line-up does not change for 2018, Mercedes will need to look elsewhere to find Russell a seat.
The reigning GP3 champion has identified Force India as his best chance of graduating to F1.
Although Mercedes could go outside its customer teams, that is a less preferable option.
Russell's fellow 2018 Mercedes reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein raced for Sauber, a Ferrari customer, last year.
He is now back in the DTM after Sauber dropped him for Charles Leclerc thanks to the Swiss team's growing links to Ferrari.
Mercedes said it would leave the door "open" for a Wehrlein F1 return, which would add another complication if pursued for 2019.
Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant
In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge
Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?
OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation
OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history
Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead