Mercedes boss Toto Wolff accepts star driver Lewis Hamilton could be tempted to join rivals Ferrari before the end of his Formula 1® career.
The five-time champion has represented the Silver Arrows since the start of the 2013 season, but his contract - reportedly worth £40million per year - is up after 2020.
Wolff believes Hamilton, like most drivers, would be interested in turning out in the iconic red of the Scuderia before he retires.
The Mercedes team principal suggested there had even been talks with the Briton regarding such a move.
"We have to acknowledge that is in every driver's head to drive for Ferrari," Wolff said. "It is the most iconic marque in Formula 1®.
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) May 10, 2019
"Even within the team, we have discussed it. You have to be open-minded - drivers will explore these opportunities.
"We have always been very transparent with Lewis on this discussion. We would love him to stay. If ever we part, it will be very positive, no drama."
Explaining his understanding approach, Wolff added: "I understand it perfectly. On the other hand, Mercedes has a great story and we have renewed the glories of the past, something Lewis is proud of.
"Nobody knows the future. I hope he finishes his career by winning more titles with us, but I know everyone has the desire to go with the redhead."
Hamilton leads Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas by seven points heading into the Monaco Grand Prix.
Ferrari have endured a tough start to the campaign, with the Silver Arrows recording five consecutive one-twos.