Daniel Ricciardo says he'll be with Red Bull for 2018 Formula One season

Daniel Ricciardo says he'll be with Red Bull for 2018 Formula One season

Daniel Ricciardo says he'll be with Red Bull for 2018 Formula One season

Updated 6 October 2017, 13:05 AEDT

Daniel Ricciardo dismisses comments by high-profile Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko which cast doubt on the Australian's future with the Formula One team.

Daniel Ricciardo has dismissed comments by high-profile Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko which cast doubt on the Australian's future with the Formula One team.

As Ricciardo guns for a career-best ninth podium of the season at Sunday's Japanese grand prix, Marko claimed this week the fourth-ranked F1 driver was being shopped around to rivals.

But Ricciardo remained confident his contract would be honoured to the end of 2018.

"I'm 100 per cent — well, 99.999 per cent — sure I've got a seat with Red Bull Racing next year," Ricciardo told reporters in Suzuka.

"I guess he's talking about beyond that, but nothing's been said between us beyond next [year], so I guess he's more stating facts.

"I don't think he has a plan yet beyond [2018]. I should be racing next year."

Marko suggested Red Bull was planning for life after Ricciardo and its future revolved around Dutch youngster Max Verstappen, who won last week in Malaysia ahead of the third-placed Australian.

The result marked the third time Ricciardo achieved eight top-three results in a season after 2014 and last year.

"Verstappen has a longer contract," Marko told German publication Auto Motor und Sport.

"But Ricciardo is already on the market. We have to look for alternatives. We will not be unprepared."

Ricciardo has never reached the podium in Japan, with his best result fourth in 2014.

But he's found consistency after a tough start to the year, with eight podiums in his past 11 starts, as he prepares to challenge for the championship top three.

With five races remaining, Ricciardo is 45 points off third-placed Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes.

"I still don't know why the last few years we've had slow starts and then found a way to come back," Ricciardo said.

"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."

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton heads to Suzuka looking to extend his lead atop the drivers' championship.

The Briton pulled further clear of main title rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari after placing second in Malaysia.

AAP