Daniel Ricciardo has been making the news in the past few days with rumours suggesting he could be ready to leave Red Bull. He has been driving with Red Bull since 2014 when he replaced Mark Webber following his retirement from racing.
The Australian has been driving with Red Bull since 2014, when he replaced Mark Webber who decided to retire from the sport.
He finished third in his first season with his first three wins for the team coming in Canada, Hungary and Belgium and has now started 125 races, achieving a podium finish on 26 occasions.
Rumors have been circulating recently that he could be ready to leave Red Bull and look for other options for next season. This comes following comments from the team's advisor Helmut Marko, who claimed Red Bull are already considering alternatives on his future beyond 2019.
"But Ricciardo is already on the market. We have to look for alternatives. We will not be unprepared," Marko said earlier this week.
Ricciardo has since come out and hit back at the claims ahead of the Japanese GP this weekend.
“I’m 100 percent – well 99.999 percent – sure I’ve got a seat with Red Bull Racing next year,” the 28-year-old said.
“I guess he’s talking about beyond that, but nothing’s been said between us beyond next, so I guess he’s more stating facts.
“I don’t think he has a plan yet beyond ’18. I should be racing next year.”
After a difficult start to the season, Ricciardo has recently found some more consistency and is now regularly securing podium finishes.
The driver himself has recognised the need for a much better start next season.
He added: “I still don’t know why the last few years we’ve had slow starts and then found a way to come back.
“So I guess the idea is again what we learn.
“I feel I’ve said it every time this year but where we are now this year, you’d think next year we should be competitive.“
Despite qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix in fourth, Ricciardo will start the race in third as a result of a gearbox-related penalty for Valtteri Bottas.