McLaren boss Zak Brown and Fernando Alonso likely won't sit down to discuss 2019 until the current F1 season reaches its mid-way point.
The Woking-based outfit's first races of the 2018 season haven't gone as well as expected, but Brown is hopeful of seeing the team's performance improve in the coming months, and keeping Alonso in the McLaren family for as long as possible.
"We want him to continue here for many years and we want him to continue at McLaren," the American executive told AS newspaper.
"Formula 1 is his passion, but he's been doing it a long time and he's achieved everything. So we'll see.
"But he loves McLaren, the work we do, everything. I don't think he was this happy at another team.
"We'll sit down in the middle of the year and see. He will see how the car develops and the further improvements we are going to bring.
"I think Fernando's heart is in Formula 1 and at McLaren. He wants to win," Brown added.
McLaren has yet to sign up any of its drivers for 2019, with Stoffel Vandoorne under pressure for next year from young charger Lando Norris who is currently competing with Carlin in Formula 2.