Ricciardo to drive in practice for Toro Rosso in 2011

2011 F1 season

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Abu Dhabi, 2010

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Abu Dhabi, 2010

Daniel Ricciardo will be Toro Rosso’s third and reserve driver in 2011.

The Australian will also drive in Friday morning practice sessions at all the races.

Ricciardo set the fastest time in both of the young drivers’ test for Red Bull at Yas Marina last week. He also drove for them in last year’s rookies’ test.

He was runner-up in Formula Renault 3.5 this year and won the British Formula Three championship in 2009.

Ricciardo said:

I am really excited at the prospect of driving for Scuderia Toro Rosso in the Free Practice 1 sessions at the Grands Prix next year, so I have to say thanks to Red Bull for this great opportunity.

My main priority for 2011 is to win the Formula Renault 3.5 championship, but my ultimate aim is to be a full-time Formula 1 driver and this new role has to be the best step towards achieving that ambition.
Daniel Ricciardo

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost said Ricciardo’s promotion will keep Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari on their toes:

When our team was created, its stated aim was to bring on young drivers from the Red Bull Junior Programme, so Daniel’s appointment as our third driver is an obvious one.

Although Daniel has done some F1 testing already, running on Fridays at the Grands Prix will give him a valuable insight into the additional pressures of doing it for real during a race weekend. I am also sure that having a hungry youngster on the books will keep our current driver pairing nice and sharp!
Franz Tost

Read more: 2011 F1 drivers and teams

Image ?é?® Red Bull/Getty images

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46 comments on Ricciardo to drive in practice for Toro Rosso in 2011

  1. Dipak T said on 26th November 2010, 17:36

    This sounds great for Ricciardo, but will it get him a race seat? Look at Paul di Resta, he has impressed in all of his free practice sesions, but even with the uncertainty surrounding next year, its rumored that Mallya is eyeing up Hulkenberg for the seat (and who wouldnt), but why isnt promotion from within being considered? All talk of di Resta graduating if there is a gap in the FI lineup has died away.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th November 2010, 17:38

      Toro Rosso have a habit of dropping drivers halfway through the season: they did it in 2009 (Bourdais for Alguersuari) and 2007 (Speed for Vettel). I see a pattern here…

      • I agree with you.

        My bet is Beumi is on his way out if he didn’t improve.

        • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 26th November 2010, 18:06

          I think that’s probably their plan… give Buemi until mid season to shape up or ship out.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 26th November 2010, 19:54

            Sadly, that is really the likely pattern for Torro Rosso.

            How many drivers were not kicked out early? On the other hand, the one guy not kicked out was Vettel, and look where it got him.

          • I think Buemi is just lucky he hasn’t been kicked out for the start of next season.
            I mean, he isn’t bad, But Torro Rosso in effect is just a training ground for Red Bull. So keeping a driver who isn’t particularly likely to set the world on fire for a long time isn’t desirable.

      • sumedh said on 26th November 2010, 18:17

        Nicely spotted.

        I give Buemi only the 4-5 fly-away races. Then it is going to be Ricciardo.

        • Macca25 said on 27th November 2010, 0:10

          Toro Rosso have a habit of dropping drivers halfway through the season: they did it in 2009 (Bourdais for Alguersuari) and 2007 (Speed for Vettel). I see a pattern hereā€¦

          I was thinking the exact same thing.

      • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 27th November 2010, 12:59

        Yep. As I pointed out in a forum thread a few weeks ago, there are already rumblings of discontent from within Toro Rosso over Buemi. I fully expect him to be dropped by mid-season. Though Franz Tost might rough him up a little first.

        • Pink peril said on 28th November 2010, 0:01

          Lol red andy! There is certainly a veiled threat in that quote. Personally, I am surprised Buemi was signed on for next year anyway. I reckon Ricciardo will be the seat by the second half of the season, and then be “promoted” over to RBR when Webber retires at the end of next season.

      • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 29th November 2010, 3:29

        I think we might see a swap at the mid-season break. I wish they wouldn’t keep doing it, but I do want Ricciardo in F1.

  2. Scalextric said on 26th November 2010, 17:38

    With the current practice limitations, it seems that this kind of deal is the only way to get F1 experience without a full time seat. Have to applaud Ricciardo/Red Bull for a deal guaranteeing him some experience at least.

  3. Icthyes said on 26th November 2010, 17:51

    So it looks like Ricciardo will debut at the Hungaroring then ;)

    They should get him into a GP2 team too, get some more racing under his belt. There’s the advantage of it following F1 for most of its year too.

    • Xanathos said on 26th November 2010, 19:53

      I think there is a rule that prohibits drivers from participating in F1 and GP2 events on the same weekend (That’s why D’Ambrosio wasn’t driving for Virgin in Abu Dhabi FP1)

  4. Electrolite said on 26th November 2010, 18:40

    His success during the young driver’s test means his role is not only a third driver but as a means of pressure on drivers 1 and 2, looking of STR in the past. It’s good team to be a third driver in.

  5. jose arellano said on 26th November 2010, 18:44

    i would kike to see him in gp2 this year

  6. Awesome news. I’m predicting he’ll have a race seat with Toro Rosso by Malaysia. Does this mean he’ll still have reserve driver duties with Red Bull too? This year he was Red Bull and Toro Rosso reserve driver.

  7. I am very curious, who will be out and what will be the main reason, if number of earned points or rate of improvement… Alguersuari improved a lot during 2010, but had less points, because of messed pitstops in key races and a technical problem before Singapore GP, where he had his best qualifying since his promotion to F1… I hope he will have finally luck on his side next year, cause the potential is clearly there!

  8. Not a fan of this guy seems very cocky and arrogant.

  9. Good move, in my opinion, rather than replacing one of the two current drivers at this point. I also agree, though, that Ricciardo should have some kind of opportunity to race next season, as well — if that can be coordinated with third driver duties.

  10. Chippie said on 26th November 2010, 20:29

    Bye bye Sebastien Buemi.

  11. Darren said on 26th November 2010, 20:32

    Faraz?? Ricciardo cocky and arrogant? Where on earth did you get that assessment? I’ve heard nothing but good things about Daniel and how down to earth he is, or are you just one of these people who makes things up just to get a reaction from people?

    • f1alex said on 26th November 2010, 21:25

      Have a look on youtube at some of his interviews, he seems very keen to say how brilliant he is! :)

      • dyslexicbunny said on 26th November 2010, 23:53

        But that’s not arrogance, it’s just pointing out the obvious! I don’t like the picture that was on the James Allen blurb but I think it made him look more like a tool than someone cocky and arrogant.

        I thought the same about Bourdais and I think the same about Buemi.

  12. Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 26th November 2010, 21:21

    Well it makes sense to train Ricciardo up, but this is hardly going to install confidence in their two current drivers, especially since they both apparently only have half year contracts. If Ricciardo doesn’t up in a race seat by my mid season I’ll eat my metaphorical hat

  13. I think they will have to make first practice session for testing and test drivers.

  14. Manatcna said on 27th November 2010, 1:12


    Half year contracts? I didn’t realise a team could do that. Or do you mean they have a clause like “do good or go away”

    • Craig Woollard said on 27th November 2010, 10:18

      Yeah, Piquet Jr’s contract for 09 said by the halfway point of the season he must have amassed half of Alonso’s points, which by the halfway point of the season, he failed to score, and was dropped for the crappy Romain Grosjean. =)

  15. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 27th November 2010, 1:50

    With limit in testing the biggest fear of many small team is that one of their driver won’t perform or they will miss some race in the season. It’s good as we have very limited testing so this should give him some track time & help him to understand the car better if he is asked to sit in it & driver.

    The plan is Webber leaving the team in 2011,someone from Torro Rosso taking his place while Ricardo sits in the team in 2011.

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