Daniel Ricciardo joked to a Spanish reporter that he did more interviews on Thursday than in his entire life until that point.

Daniel Ricciardo, Hispania Racing Team, HRT
Daniel Ricciardo, Hispania Racing Team, HRT

Photo by: xpb.cc

The Red Bull-backed rookie is making his grand prix debut this weekend, causing some commentators to hurriedly wonder why Australian media generally pronounce his surname 'Rickardo'.

"I guess that growing up in Australia, to try and get people to say it as the Italians would, to roll the r and give it the expression, it doesn't really come out the same way," said HRT's new race driver.

"In Italy, as my father is Sicilian, they will say Ricciardo or however an Italian would say it, probably. I guess the Italians are more than welcome to say it how it probably is meant to be said."

Arguably a bigger concern for Ricciardo is - having never driven the 2011 Hispania previously - satisfying the 107 per cent rule on Saturday with a car that failed to qualify in Melbourne.

If Liuzzi is able to qualify then I hope I can too

Daniel Ricciardo

"I don't expect it to be the Red Bull that I drove in Abu Dhabi for the junior tests, but Tonio (Liuzzi) has done a good job this year so if he's able to qualify then I hope I can too," he answered.

"It (not qualifying) hasn't even crossed my mind."