Brendon Hartley's rollercoaster rookie season in the Formula One appears to have been given a big boost thanks to a surprise move by another driver - off the course.
Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo has announced he is leaving the team this year to join Renault.
The surprising decision by the Australian could have a significantly positive impact on Hartley's chances of racing again in 2019 after the Kiwi's start to 2018 didn't quite go to plan due to non-finishes and uninspiring results.
As a result, rumours have floated around that Toro Rosso, Red Bull's junior development team who Hartley currently races for, were looking to replace the Kiwi driver.
However with Ricciardo's departure, Hartley's teammate Pierre Gasly has become the favourite to take over the Red Bull seat alongside Max Verstappen in 2019.
Should that happen, Hartley's chances of racing next season will increase exponentially due to his experience.
When the Formula One returns from its summer break in Belgian at the end of the month, Hartley will have nine more races to prove his worth to the team having only secured two points in the championship so far this year after 12 races.