According to Italian daily La Gazzetta dello Sport, Max Verstappen's current contract with Toro Rosso includes a clause which would allow the young Dutchman complete freedom of movement for 2017 in the event that he would not be promoted to Red Bull Racing.
Obviously, such a state of affairs appears very unlikely given the value attributed by his employer to the 18-year-old's outstanding talent and future.
Nevertheless, should Verstappen become unbound to Red Bull at the end of this season, many bet that Ferrari would pounce and secure the services of the prodigy, especially as Kimi Raikkonen's contract expires at the end of this year.
It may be no coincidence therefore that Verstappen, in an interview with La Gazzetta, offered his opinion on Sebastian Vettel , a man he may one day sit across from in the Scuderia's garage.
"Drivers that are comfortable with their team and know how to motivate them always stick out to me," Verstappen said.
"Vettel is a great example of this. I think that spirit is the most important thing for a driver."
When it comes to passing through the holy gates of Maranello, Verstappen may have some competition to deal with however.
Pundits are also betting that Daniel Ricciardo, whose personal ambitions remain unfulfilled at Red Bull, may be waiting in the wings for the red phone to ring, although the details of his contract with the Milton Keynes outfit for 2017 are unclear.
In any case, it's early days still when it comes to kick starting F1's silly season.