Daniel Ricciardo sent a message to Red Bull Racing with his strong performance during the F1 Young Driver test in Abu Dhabi after setting a time quicker than Sebastian Vettel managed in securing pole of the final round of the year at Yas Marina.
While the extra traction available during the test following Sunday's grand prix meant the circuit was expected to be quicker, Ricciardo's performance at the wheel of the RB6 was still hugely impressive as he set a best time of 1min 38.102secs during the two days of running.
That compared with Vettel's pole time of 1min 39.394secs during qualifying – leaving the Australian 1.3secs quicker than the newly crowned champion from his time at the wheel.
Having admitted there was pressure to perform, the former F3 champion will now hope to make a move towards an F1 race seat although with Red Bull and sister outfit Toro Rosso having confirmed driver line-ups for 2011, he admits that he may have to wait another year to get his opportunity.
"I had the most amazing time in the car," he told ninemsn
. "The team seemed very pleased, which is really nice for me and I got on so well with everyone over the two days. It's an amazing experience to work with so many people who are all focused on one car - it is such a professional team effort.
"I'm not sure what this test will mean for next year, but I know even more now that this is where I want to be. Whether I might be in F1 next year or the following, I will do everything to make sure it happens - and I think this test has probably helped me.
"I feel like I've had a really eventful season and now with the F1 test over I can step back a bit - I've done what I can. It's been an amazing experience and I hope I can repeat it again soon."