Ferrari insist Sebastian Vettel is ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the race to partner Charles Leclerc next season.
Vettel, 32, is out of contract at the end of 2020 and sweating over his F1 future after being outshone by 22-year-old Leclerc last year.
Hamilton is in a similar contract predicament as the six-time world champ is in the last year of his £40million-a-year deal with Mercedes.
Ferrari have already held informal talks with the Brit over a stunning 2021 link-up but team boss Mattia Binotto claimed Vettel is their first-choice.
Speaking at the launch of Ferrari’s 2020 car on Tuesday, Binotto said: “Seb is our first choice at the moment.
“Obviously it is something we are discussing with him and we will continue discussing, but he is certainly our first option, our preference.”
The Prancing Horse chief also refused to be drawn on whether their decision to prioritise Vettel rules out a stunning move for Hamilton in 2021.
Asked whether Hamilton might still be a ‘fallback option’ if Vettel leaves, Binotto insisted that wasn’t an option.
He added: “We are focused on our drivers – and we are considering Seb as our option at the moment.”
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