Red Bull Racing is making moves to secure Sebastian Vettel's future at the team until the end of 2015, in a bid to head off interest from rival teams.
Vettel's current deal runs until the end of 2012, but despite there still being two years to run, team insiders have revealed that the outfit hopes to conclude a three-year extension as soon as possible.
It is understood that talks have already opened between the driver and the team about the idea of committing him to the team until 2015, although no deal has yet been finalized.
Hopes of keeping Vettel on board have been boosted by the fact that the team's technical chief, Adrian Newey, has indicated that he is now likely to stay at the outfit for the long-term, after agreeing to a rolling contract.
Team principal Christian Horner told AUTOSPORT about the Newey situation, "The relationship is open-ended. He is enjoying what he is doing, he enjoys the environment at Red Bull and he is still relatively young. It is not like he is an old-timer, so I don't think he has any plans to retire at the moment. He will certainly be here for the foreseeable future."
While the team hopes to build its longer-term plans around Vettel, insiders suggest that Mark Webber will be kept on single-year contracts rather than also being put on a multi-season deal.
Despite the controversy caused by his collision with Vettel in Turkey last weekend, it is expected that Webber's new contract for 2011 will be sorted out before the British Grand Prix.