Daniel Ricciardo is starting a year that will define the rest of his life in Formula 1. It could be the most important season of his life, as the Australian seeks not only to fend off the growing challenge of Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen, but do so while making the first big career choice he has ever faced.
Ricciardo has been a member of the Red Bull driver programme since 2008 but he is out of contract at the end of 2018. It is the first time in a decade - and the first since he made it to F1 - that he has been free to make up his own mind about where his destiny lies. Does he stick or does he twist? And on what factors will that decision depend?
Ricciardo remains in the very top echelon of F1 drivers, along with Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Verstappen. But last year was the first in which there was a perception that his personal momentum had slowed a little.