Daniel Ricciardo the easy-going Australian number two for Red Bull may find himself in high demand by the time winter testing and his home Grand Prix comes around next year.
The 28-year-old from Perth has a year left on his contract with the Swiss F1 team.
But unlike Max Verstappen, the Australian has had no firm offer of an extension to his current deal. That might not necessarily be a problem, though, as McLaren, Mercedes-AMG and Ferrari could all potentially face making similarly big decisions regarding the shape of their line-ups for the following season.
Speaking to ESPN in Austin ahead of the USA GP, the 28-year-old has hinted about his future plans by discussing potential teammates would like to partner.
And despite Jenson Button's surprising claims about his relationship with Lewis Hamilton at McLaren this week, when asked about working with the current championship leader, Ricciardo confessed it was one of his ambitions.
“Yes, absolutely.” The man from Perth said.
“Forgetting the situation that he's at Mercedes, taking teams out of it... just putting drivers, absolutely.
“I've said for a long time [Fernando] Alonso or Lewis would be the guys I'd love to see myself against.
“Alonso's getting towards the tail of his career so Lewis at the moment is more desirable for me to go up against. So I would like that.
“Obviously I had the chance with Seb, I've had it with Max and I'm going to have it again with Max for at least one more year. But while Lewis is in his prime I would like to challenge [him] and see...”
Ricciardo and Hamilton in the same line-up could be a very interesting prospect but that will heavily depend on how Valtteri Bottas fares in his second season.
Despite not quite having the consistency his predecessor, Nico Rosberg, enjoyed, Bottas' relationship with Hamilton is much more positive and is certainly one of the reasons why his initial one-year deal has been extended.
Nevertheless, a failure to improve on-track results might just open the door for Ricciardo to jump in.
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