The 28-year-old’s current contract with Red Bull runs out at the end of the year with suggestions rife that he could join either Ferrari or Mercedes.
Red Bull say they have agreed a deadline date with Ricciardo to decide his future, with the Australian keen to ensure that he competes for World Championship titles at this stage of his career.
There is quiet confidence that the Milton Keynes-based team can force a three-way battle with Ferrari and Mercedes at the front of the grid this year.
But Ricciardo has only won five of 79 races since being promoted from sister team Toro Rosso in 2014 and is still yet to choose who he will race for next year as he weighs up Red Bull’s capabilities.
And the Australian believes the start of the new season in his homeland on March 25 could help divert the media’s attention elsewhere.
“For me personally I’m glad testing is over as it is not that exciting, especially when you are in the car doing long runs with a bit of fuel,” said Ricciardo.
“I’m looking forward to Melbourne, which is what my sights are set on to get the job done there and hopefully it’ll make the situation a little easier to handle.”
Ricciardo went fastest on day two of the final test in pre-season testing last week with a 1:18.047 on the hyper soft tyres, but his unofficial track record was smashed by Sebastian Vettel the following day.
His former team-mate broke the 1:17s barrier on Thursday and went almost a second quicker than the fastest time that Red Bull could manage across eight days in Barcelona.
Ricciardo – who won just one race in 2017, with team-mate Max Verstappen claiming two wins – has purposefully bided his time to discover Red Bull’s potential for 2018.
But he insists it won’t be until a few months into the season before the Austrian manufacturer really have any idea of whether or not they can challenge Mercedes’ dominance.
He added: “We’ll have to see after the first couple of races. It is going to be interesting and it is going to be tough.
“Everyone wants to move on and try to figure out what the plan is, not for this season which hasn’t even started yet, but for 2019.”