Daniel Ricciardo says the first few races of 2018 will likely facilitate his contract talks with Red Bull Racing.
Contrary to team mate Max Verstappen who committed last year to a new deal with Milton Keynes-based outfit, the Aussie has yet to decide his fate for 2019.
Ricciardo said on several occasions that he would like to assess Red Bull's state of affairs and the level of performance of the team's RB14 before seriously weighing his options for the future, including a move away to another team.
The official launch of the 2018 season in Melbourne at the end of the month will act as a catalyst for team and driver to ramp up negotiations.
"For me personally I’m glad testing is over as it is not that exciting especially when you are in the car doing long runs with a bit of fuel," Ricciardo said.
"I’m looking forward to Melbourne which is what my sights are set on to get the job done there and hopefully it’ll make the situation a little easier to handle.
"We’ll have to see after the first couple of races," added the Honey badger.
Regardless of the outcome, the 28-year-old and five-time Grand Prix winner believes it should an interesting period, and one where he'll need to play his cards close to his chest.
"It is going to be interesting and it is going to be tough," he admits.
"Everyone wants to move on and try to figure out what the plan is, not for this season which hasn’t even started yet, but for 2019."