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Red Bull and Toro Rosso announce reserve drivers
Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso have announced two reserve drivers for this season. Despite the fact that the two teams will run separate cars for the first time this year, they will share the services of Daniel Ricciardo and Brendon Hartley.
The line-up is an Antipodean one with Ricciardo hailing from Australia and Hartley from New Zealand. Both drivers are members of the Red Bull driver development programme and both tested at December's young driver tests at Jerez.
Ricciardo made a name for himself when his racing career bought him to Europe and is the reigning British Formula 3 champion. After competing in Formula Renault Italy in 2007, he moved to Formula Renault West European Cup in 2008 and won the title with ten pole positions and eight victories. He moved up a class in 2009 to the British Formula 3 Championship, where six wins and numerous points-scoring finishes enabled him to wrap up the Championship with two races to spare.
"It's very exciting," Ricciardo said. "It was an email I was hoping for since the test in December, but I wasn't sure whether it would come at all. It's all exciting and I'll be busy, even though I'm not racing."
Hartley initially impressed in Formula Ford and the Toyota Racing Series on home soil, before moving to Europe to further his career. 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 3 championship where he finished third, before moving to the F3 Euro Series last year.
At the recent young driver test Hartley drove for Toro Rosso, while Ricciardo tested for Red Bull. After an impressive test, Ricciardo topped the time-sheets. Due to the restrictions on testing in F1, reserves rarely enjoy track time, although Red Bull typically uses its drivers for promotional demonstrations.