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The reserve driver duties for both Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso will fall to Brendon Hartley and Daniel Ricciardo this season.
Daniel is the reigning British Formula 3 series champion. The 20-year-old Australian made a name for himself when his racing career brought him to Europe. After competing in Formula Renault Italy in 2007, he moved to Formula Renault West European Cup in 2008 and won the title and ten pole positions and eight victories on the way. He moved up a class in 2009 to the British Formula 3 Championship, where six wins and several points-scoring finishes saw him wrap up the Championship with two races to spare.
Of his move into F1, Daniel said: “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,”
Ricciardo’s team-mate Brendon (20) hails from Palmerston North, New Zealand. After impressing in Formula Ford and the Toyota Racing Series on home turf, Brendon also moved to Europe. In 2006 he contested the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup before winning the Eurocup title with a round to spare in 2007. In 2008 he moved to the British Formula Three Championship where he finished third, before moving to the F3 Euro Series last year.
Brendon 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.”
Both showed promise in the new drivers tests in Jerez last year: Brendon was at the wheel of the TR4 for Scuderia Toro Rosso, while Daniel drove the RB5 for Red Bull Racing for all three days. After an impressive test, Daniel topped the time-sheets.
As well as being our 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.
“Me and Daniel are good friends, said Brendon. “But we’ve never been team-mates before so that’ll be different, but he’s a nice guy and we get on really well and we’ll be fighting to win as long as it’s fair then let the best man win.”
Both drivers are graduates of the Red Bull Junior Team young driver programme which also boasts Sebastian Vettel, Sébastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari amongst its graduates.
For more on the boys, check out their websites: