2009 British Formula 3 Champion Daniel Ricciardo and Brendon Hartley have been confirmed as Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso's reserve drivers for the 2010 season, though the role will alternate between the 2 of them on a race by race basis.
Hartley, who is from Palmerston North, New Zealand started off his career in Formula Ford and the Toyota Racing Series, before moving to Europe to continue his career in Formula Renault Eurocup and the Formula Renault Northern European Cup, before claiming the Formula Renault Eurocup title in 2007 with a round to spare.
This led to a move to British Formula 3 and 2008 saw Brendon claim 5 race wins en route to third behind current Toro Rosso driver Jamie Alguersuari and Oliver Turvey.
Hartley said about the announcement “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.”
20 year old Aussie Daniel Ricciardo, from Perth, saw his career take off when he started racing in Europe in 2007, firstly in the Italian Formula Renault Championship before claiming the 2008 Formula Renault West European Cup, with 10 poles and 8 victories. This led to the graduation to British Formula 3 with Carlin, and Daniel went on to claim the 2009 Cooper Tyres Formula 3 title in dominant fashion, with 6 race wins along with several solid points finishes meant that he secured the title before the season finale.
After the end of season test at Jerez, both Brandon and Daniel showed very encouraging performances, both on track and in the garage, with their feedback to the teams helping their 2010 car development. It was this test which secured the role for Daniel; he went on to say “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 it's a big relief but also very satisfying.”
The duties for the drivers will see them sit-in the debriefs and team meetings, attend driver meetings, speak with the current drivers and familiarise themselves with how the team works, so they are prepared for a call up if it's required. The pair of them with also feature in the marketing side of things. Daniel is looking forward to the role and learning about the way a team works, and he said “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.”
Carlin race director, Trevor Carlin, is delighted with the news of his former drivers graduating into the pinnacle of Motorsport, and 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.”
Carlin is hopeful that 2010 will see the same as previous years, with the Cooper Tyres British F3 series providing more Formula 1 drivers of 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.” and in the process, following in the footsteps of drivers such as the late Arton Senna, J.J Lehto, Johnny Herbert and Rubens Barrachello.
As well as their reserve driver roles for Red Bull and Toro Rosso, both Ricciardo and Hartley will also compete as team mates in the World Series by Renault Championship with the Tech 1 outfit.