Daniel Ricciardo says he’s eager to get the 2018 Formula 1 world championship underway to quell the questions about his future move in the sport.

Both Ricciardo and Red Bull have agreed to begin contract talks next on the Australian’s future at the team next month with a mutual agreement reached on a deadline for negotiations.

Ricciardo’s current contract at the Milton Keynes-based team expires at the end of this season and he’s already accepted at 28 his next contract may prove to be the most important decision of his F1 career.

After being continually quizzed about his F1 future, Ricciardo says he’s pleased to get through testing and focus on racing with the 2018 season starting in less than two weeks in Melbourne. Ricciardo feels if he can produce strong results at the start of the season it will make his contract talks “a little easier to handle”.

“For me personally I’m glad testing is over as it is not that exciting especially when you are in the car doing long runs with a bit of fuel,” Ricciardo said. “I’m looking forward to Melbourne which is what my sights are set on to get the job done there and hopefully it’ll make the situation a little easier to handle.”

Ricciardo remains tight-lipped on his preferred team destination for 2019 having previously been keen to understand the performance and place in the F1 pecking order of each front-runner at the start of the new season before making a decision.

“We’ll have to see after the first couple of races,” he said. “It is going to be interesting and it is going to be tough.

“Everyone wants to move on and try to figure out what the plan is, not for this season which hasn’t even started yet, but for 2019.”

Ricciardo joined the Red Bull ranks in 2008 as part of its Junior Team before racing for Toro Rosso in 2012 and 2013 to graduate to Red Bull Racing in 2014 with the Australian driver going on to secure five race wins for Red Bull.

Both Mercedes and Ferrari have been linked with the Australian, casting doubt over the futures of Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen respectively, while four-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton is poised to announce a new three-year contract extension with the German manufacturer.

Red Bull have already re-signed Max Verstappen on a fresh deal to keep him until at least the end of 2021, while Sebastian Vettel is the only other driver to have an agreement in place beyond next season having signed a new contract to stay at Ferrari until the end of 2020.


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