Daniel Ricciardo says his future at Red Bull is set to be secured before Formula 1 returns from the summer shutdown at the Belgian grand Prix, having missed an initial deadline of the mid-season break for his new contract to have been officially signed.
Having seen potential moves to Ferrari and Mercedes dissolve, Ricciardo's status as the main player in 2019's driver market has quickly faded away too.
Although the Australian had previously insisted his 2019 seat would be a certified race-winner, Ricciardo must gamble on Red Bull's ability to remain competitive - or improve - with Honda power units after ditching Renault.
Ricciardo claims that his insistence that a deal be signed before he went on holiday was never likely to be met, although he remains certain that his future is decided.
"I was just making it up so you guys would stop asking me," he said after completing 125 laps for Red Bull in Tuesday's test at the Hungaroring.
One of @danielricciardo’s trademark smooth moves to take him from P12 on the grid to P4 at the flag ???????? #HungarianGP ???????? #F1 pic.twitter.com/GHvBScpTn2 — Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) July 30, 2018
"It'll definitely be done by Spa so whether it gets announced over the break or at Spa but it's just a little bit of fine-tuning.
"It's all good. You will hear something soon I'm sure."
Ricciardo's decision is set to trigger a chain reaction further down the grid. His signing will allow Carlos Sainz Jr to seek a move, with McLaren a potential destination for the Spanish driver as Renault line up Esteban Ocon to fill his seat in 2019 - a switch that could open up a seat at Force India for Williams' Lance Stroll.