After contemplating a departure from F1, Pascal Wehrlein's chances of remaining at Sauber next season now appear to be on the rise.
As recently as Singapore, the Mercedes protégé seemed resign to losing his ride with the Swiss outfit as it embraces Ferrari's young talent, and particularly Charles Leclerc.
Given Marcus Ericsson's close relationship with Sauber's owners, Longbow Finance, Wehrlein looked set to become the odd man out.
But team boss Fred Vasseur insisted that the Swedish driver would not necessarily enjoy a free pass when it comes to racing for Sauber next year.
"There is still nothing new," Wehrlein said in Malaysia.
"But I think there will be a decision in the next few weeks. This year we will not have to wait as long as last year."
When asked if he is now more positive than a few weeks ago about his prospects for 2018, he answered: "I think the chances are quite good.
"But during the season I try to only think about the coming races.
"Of course I will always be informed when there are new developments. Toto (Wolff) tells me of any important phone calls and of course I always talk with Fred (Vasseur).
"I'm assuming I'll be in Formula 1 next year," Wehrlein added.