Daniel Ricciardo has revealed that both he and team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne are still waiting to discover if they will be retained by Toro Rosso for the 2013 F1 season.
The pair were brought in to replace Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi but have managed just 21 points between them – 16 points fewer than at the same stage last year.
Much of that can be put down to the fact that the team has struggled to get the best out of the STR7, with few expecting any changes to be made to the Toro Rosso driver line-up as a result as the team looks to improve next year.
However, neither driver has yet had their future confirmed, with Ricciardo saying he hoped that positive news would be forthcoming soon.
"[There is] no confirmation but not really any doubts either to be honest," he told ESPN
. "Nothing's been signed on paper but we've been involved with some brief discussions on next year and what James [Key] is hoping to achieve and what the team is looking for. So I guess being involved with these discussions is a positive and to be honest I think we definitely deserve another season.
"I think the team sees that as well, and I think generally most of the time if there's someone to blame they're blaming the package more than us. Sometimes we're like 'You can blame us if you want!' but I think they see that the car hasn't been the strongest this year and they see that with a stronger package we can definitely deliver some strong results.
"It's pretty much year-by-year with Red Bull; Dr [Helmut] Marko keeps us on a tight leash so we wait for his command. As I said there's nothing really which tells me we won't, but obviously until pen's on paper I'm not going to get too excited."
Ricciardo added that he was sure that former Sauber technical chief Key would help the team move forwards in 2013.
"James was absent [in India], as he was in Korea, obviously getting familiar with the team and everyone at the factory but pushing on for next year's car,” he said. “So there's some promising signs, everyone seems optimistic about it. I think they know figures and numbers what to achieve or they know what they're aiming for, which is good.
“They seem to have a clear target in mind and at least they can work towards that and push for those numbers, but he definitely seems anxious for a few good things next year."