Daniel Ricciardo's hopes of taking over from his compatriot Mark Webber as one of the two Red Bull Racing drivers in 2014 took a significant boost this week as team principal Christian Horner effectively confirmed that the decision was down to just two names - and that Ricciardo's is one.

The Toro Rosso driver has a successful time testing with the senior team at the recent Silverstone Young Drivers Test, and Ricciardo himself said that he was happy with how things had gone.

"I was pretty satisfied as I came down to the times pretty fast," he said. "And now when I think about it, if I had to do it again I would do it exactly the same.

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"I would have loved to make some set-up changes on the car, work more with the engineers and push the boundaries a bit more," he added. "But we had to comply with the guidelines from Pirelli and the FIA."

Will it tip the balance in his favour with regards to the seat in the Red Bull #2 car? Ricciardo admitted that he has no better idea on what the decision will be - or when it will be made - than anyone else in the F1 paddock.

"What I hear is basically what I know from the media, that it will happen around the summer break," he said. "If I get the news when I'm laying around on some beach, that would be just perfect!" he added with a laugh.

Ricciardo has received backing from no lesser source that Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz, who said that "Ricciardo did an excellent job at Silverstone.

"No decision has been taken yet," Mateschitz added. "It is still under discussion within the team but it will be announced after Budapest.

Previously Ricciardo believed that he was in a three-way fight for the seat along with Lotus' 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen and with his own Toro Rosso team mate Jean-Eric Vergne, but overnight his odds of taking the seat seem to have improved by Horner ruling out Vergne from consideration.

"I think [Vergne] deserves a seat in F1 and should he not be successful with the Red Bull seat then it would make logical sense for him to continue at Toro Rosso," said Horner. "I think at this stage it's probably too early for him, which is why we chose to look at Daniel."

Ricciardo was surprised to learn that he was now effectively in the final two: "Christian said that? He didn't tell me. That means that my chances are 50-50? Do you have a coin?" he laughed.

"It would mean that I am a bit closer to what I want, so let's see," he added. "I still need to have a good weekend. Of course, though, the fewer candidates the better for me."

Asked what he thought would be the biggest difference if he did get the nod to take over from Webber at Red Bull, Ricciardo said that it wasn't the obvious factors of the difference in the hardware and team resources.

"You will be surprised: not the car as you might have guessed," he said. "[It was] the moment I came back to the Energy Station after a day's work to do my media work. Boy, I have never seen so many journalists waiting for me and hanging on my lips for every single word I say. That had really a 'wow' effect!"

Whether he gets the nod this time round or not, the 24-year-old from Perth in Australia probably needs to get used to his new status, because getting down to the last two in line for the best car in the paddock means his star is firmly on the rise and things will never be quite the same for him again after this.

In the meantime the down-to-earth Aussie is taking things in his stride.

"I am happy with where I am and with half the season left I have plenty on my plate," he said. "I think that it doesn't really make a difference for me. I think it is the media that gets giddy with excitement."