RICCIARDO & HARTLEY RESERVE THEIR F1 SEATS Less than four months after clinching the Cooper Tires British F3 championship title, Daniel Ricciardo has been confirmed - alongside another ex-British F3 graduate, Brendon Hartley - as a reserve...
RICCIARDO & HARTLEY RESERVE THEIR F1 SEATS
Less than four months after clinching the Cooper Tires British F3 championship title, Daniel Ricciardo has been confirmed - alongside another ex-British F3 graduate, Brendon Hartley - as a reserve driver in Formula 1 this season.
Australian Ricciardo and Kiwi Hartley, both 20, will fulfil reserve-driver duties for the Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso teams, following in the wheeltracks of the 2008 British F3 title-winner, Jaime Alguersuari, the Spaniard who began the '09 F1 season as a Toro Rosso reserve and ended it in a full-time race seat as the youngest-ever Grand Prix driver.
Ricciardo sealed his place in the squad in December at the F1 'rookie tests' at Jerez in Spain, where, on his debut in a Grand Prix car, he topped the timesheets for Red Bull. Said Daniel: "It's very exciting. It was an email I was hoping for since the test in December, but I wasn't sure whether it would come at all. So, a big relief, but also very satisfying.
"This will be a very good introduction to F1 - even though I won't be driving the car, just to sit in on the briefings and do what the drivers do on a weekend is a good way to start learning. It's all exciting and I'll be busy, even though I'm not driving."
Daniel's climb to motorsport's pinnacle began in karts at home in Perth and progressed through Formula BMW Asia to European Formula Renault. He won on his debut in Cooper Tires British F3 and went on claim seven race victories for the Carlin team, clinching the title with two races in hand.
Hartley, who placed third overall behind his Carlin team-mates Alguersuari and Oliver Turvey in British F3 in 2008, claiming five race victories, said: "I'm happy to be a part of the Red Bull F1 set-up again and it'll be good to be at the race tracks learning as much as possible, so that if I do get the opportunity to do a race I'm fully prepared." As well as being F1 reserve drivers, the pair, both based in Milton Keynes, will compete as team-mates in the World Series by Renault for the Tech 1 team.
Their F1 duties will see them sit in on team meetings, spend time with the current race drivers and familiarise themselves with how Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso work so they are ready for action in the event of a call-up.
Carlin race director Trevor Carlin said: "We are very pleased that, once again, former Carlin drivers have gone on to take a role in Formula 1. Daniel and Brendon are both extremely talented and deserve their opportunities. Hopefully their reserve driver roles will develop into race seats in the future.
"I think it is a testament to British F3 that the championship keeps producing the F1 stars of tomorrow, a tradition which I am sure will continue in 2010."
Since its inception in 1964, British F3 has provided more graduates to Formula 1 than any other single-seater series worldwide. The list of former British F3 Champions who have gone on to become Grand Prix greats includes Ayrton Senna, Jackie Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi, Gunnar Nilsson, Nelson Piquet, Derek Warwick, Stefan Johansson, Johnny Herbert, JJ Lehto, Mika Hakkinen and Rubens Barrichello.
-source: british f3