Despite his generally impressive rookie season with the HRT F1 team, Daniel Ricciardo has conceded that he still doesn’t know what the future will hold for him beyond the end of the season.
A long-time protégé of Red Bull, Ricciardo was Toro Rosso’s Friday test driver before he was placed at HRT ahead of the British Grand Prix in place of Narain Karthikeyan.
The Australian is as in the dark as the rest of us over his whereabouts for the 2012 season, but he knows he needs to give the best showing possible in the final two races of the season, at Abu Dhabi and Brazil.
“I’ve got the next few races,” he told the Australian Associated Press.
“They still play a part for next year, so for me it’s important to stay focused on those and not watch what the other guys are doing and what I’m doing too much off the track.
“I’ll be very disappointed if I don’t have a place next year, but it’s one of those things.”
Ricciardo is considered as one of four candidates competing for the two race seats at Toro Rosso next season, alongside the incumbent Jaime Alguersuari and Sébastien Buemi, as well as Toro Rosso’s new Friday driver, Jean-Éric Vergne.
Ricciardo had arguably one of his most impressive showings of his short F1 career at last weekend’s Indian Grand Prix. The Perth-born driver qualified 21st-fastest on the Saturday, although he started two places lower after his team performed a gearbox change on his car.
He ran as high as 15th during the race, but a hold-up in one of his pit stops dropped him down the order to finish 18th.
[Image via Sutton Images]