Daniel Ricciardo is not ruling out a move to Ferrari at some point in the near future.
Rumours in 2015 and again this year have linked the Australian with Maranello, but Red Bull is believed to have secured him for at least the next two years.
But Ricciardo, 26, has told Germany’s Auto Bild that he is determined to push his career forwards.
“I’m very uneasy when I think of Sebastian (Vettel),” he said, referring to his 2014 teammate.
“He is only two years older than me, but he already has four titles. The form I’m in, I expect in the next 12 to 18 months to have a car to fight him for the title,” Ricciardo added.
As for Ferrari, he said: “When they start to dominate formula one, it would be very nice to win a title with them.
“But my first goal is to do it with Red Bull. Regarding the rumours, no — at the moment there is no contact (with Ferrari),” added Ricciardo.
So for now, Ricciardo is at Red Bull, where he welcomed the recent decision to replace Daniil Kvyat with F1 teen sensation Max Verstappen.
“Max makes me even better,” said the Australian.
“Daniil [Kvyat] was putting pressure on me too, but with Max [Verstappen] I’ve had to stretch my limits even more.”
Recently Daniil Kvyat broken his long Twitter silence, having not uttered a word on his social media account since his calamitous home race at Sochi and demotion from Red Bull.
“A bit going on lately,” the Russian now declares, “but hard work continues and I keep on pushing hard! Life’s good. Thanks for your kind messages!”
Earlier, following his return to Toro Rosso, Kvyat removed all images and references to the energy drink brand from his Twitter profile, simply calling himself ‘Formula 1 driver’ in the description.
His brief message this week comes after boss Dr Helmut Marko declared that, despite an obviously strained relationship, 22-year-old Kvyat stands a chance of keeping his seat at Toro Rosso in 2017.
Red Bull confirmed on Wednesday, Carlos Sainz will continue to race for Toro Rosso 2017 Formula 1 season.