Ricciardo faces anxious wait

Date published: December 6 2011

While Daniel Ricciardo mulls over his uncertain future in F1, the youngster remains hopeful of securing a drive…

While Daniel Ricciardo mulls over his uncertain future in F1, the youngster remains hopeful of securing a drive.

The Australian has signed a new two-year deal with Red Bull but the Milton Keynes-based outfit will once again field Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber in 2012.

This leaves Ricciardo searching for a seat as he continues to learn his trade at the highest level.

Ricciardo replaced Narain Karthikeyan at HRT for the last eleven races of the season, making his race debut at the British GP. However, while HRT have only confirmed Pedro de la Rosa as one of their drivers for next year, Ricciardo does not appear to be in the running for the second spot.

Initially it appeared that a seat may become available at Red Bull’s sister team, Toro Rosso, but this no longer seems the case.

“At the moment it seems like Toro Rosso are going to stay with who they’ve got,” Ricciardo told The West Australian.

“It wasn’t put down 100 per cent, but it was the wording I was making out.

“There’s a good chance if I’m on the grid next year it’s going to be with another non-Red Bull outfit, but I guess the good news is I’m still contracted by Red Bull. They’ve agreed to continue with me.”

The 22-year-old’s attention has now turned to Team Caterham (formally Team Lotus). Tony Fernandes’ outfit have confirmed their line-up of Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli but their are rumours doing the rounds that Trulli may not remain with the team.

“I would like to say there’s a chance, but at least for me that’s probably all it is for now, just a chance,” Ricciardo said of the situation.

“It would be a step up from this year, so it’s not really a bad thing.

“I doubt they’ll still be able to fight for points next year. They’ll still be towards the further end, but I think they’re progressing well.

“If (Heikki) Kovalainen was to be my team-mate, it’s someone very good to measure up to. He’s won a grand prix before and he’s smashed Trulli this year.”

At the end of the day though, the Perth native would just like a race-seat regardless of where it may be, with the role of reserve driver not one that appeals to him.

“I’m obviously proud of getting there and doing something that I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid, but it’s probably like everything,” he said.

“I’ve got there now, but I’m not happy just to settle just for that. I want to keep going forward and I believe I can.”