Daniel Ricciardo is hopeful that he has now done enough to secure his Formula 1 future at Scuderia Toro Rosso for another year. The Australian believes his drive in Japan last weekend, which he claims was one of the best performances of his career, will prove to his bosses that he is worth keeping for 2013.
"I never want to count my chickens, but I definitely believe if I wasn't looking good before Japan, [that drive] definitely helps," he said. "I am positive I can give another season a crack here, and hopefully with [technical director] James Key's development on next year's car, we can do what Sauber has done this year."
Ricciardo believes that Key's arrival just before the Italian Grand Prix has been important in helping lift the team's fortunes, with it scoring nine points in the last four races.
"At circuit he has given a fresh approach," said the Australian. "He is very ambitious, that is the right word. Sometimes the team is probably too realistic, so it is nice to have someone who is quite ambitious and wants a bit more. That is good.
"It is a bit of a different approach. From Friday, we don't really look at the big picture, and we don't look to Saturday, we just take it session by session and that has really showed from Spa.
"From Friday to Sunday, we kept getting better. I am not sure what it is, but maybe it is a bit of experience and a bit of gelling with the team after 15 races."