Marcus Ericsson hopes to do enough to earn a 2019 Formula 1 seat, claiming that Charles Leclerc's Ferrari deal "says quite a bit" about the driver market. Ericsson has improved in recent races to tun the tables on Leclerc after the Monegasque's excellent start to life in F1.
Leclerc has qualified ahead of Ericsson in 12 of the 15 races so far in 2018 – only McLaren's drivers have a more one-sided rivalry, with Fernando Alonso outqualifying Stoffel Vandoorne in every grand prix this year.
Although Leclerc also has five points finishes to Ericsson's four, the Swede has picked up three in the past seven races – Leclerc has just two in that time.
With Kimi Raikkonen confirmed as a Sauber driver in 2019, it has been widely reported that Antonio Giovinazzi will benefit from the team's ties to Ferrari to get a seat, but Ericsson says he can prove his worth still.
"They haven't really given me any specifics or a timeframe for it, but I know I need to perform now," he said. "I feel that I stepped it up the last five or six weekends.
"I scored more points than Charles [between Germany and Italy] and Charles has signed a contract with Ferrari for a few years so I think that says quite a bit.
"If I can keep doing that, or even better, that's what I need to do. If that's enough for a contract or not, that's not up to me, but I need to keep pushing and trying to impress.
"The competition for the seats is a lot higher than it's been the last few years and I think the signing of Kimi really shows that.
"Now there's only one seat left for next year so I need to really impress and work hard to show that I should really be in the team. The pressure is high but I like that.
"I usually do my best racing when I have the biggest pressure on my shoulders so I don't really mind it."
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.