• Toro Rosso news

Ricciardo not taking anything for granted

ESPNF1 Staff
January 21, 2011 « Red Bull confirms car launch at first day of testing | »
Next in line: Daniel Ricciardo will be a permanent feature in the paddock this year © Sutton Images

Red Bull protégé Daniel Ricciardo has vowed not to become complacent, despite being next in line for a drive at Toro Rosso.

Ricciardo has landed a Friday testing role at Toro Rosso for 2011, meaning he will sub in for race drivers during first practice sessions at grands prix this year. Alongside his F1 duties he will be competing in Formula Renault 3.5, a series that he finished second in last year and is a clear favourite in this year.

In a recent interview, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko said: "The plan is to see him in a race cockpit [in F1] by 2012 at the latest." But even with that solid endorsement, Ricciardo is still determined to prove his worth.

"I can't really rest on that, that I'll be in next year," he told the West Australian newspaper. "If I have a bad year this year, I'm sure he'll change his mind. I'm always excited to start a season. I'm sure once Bahrain comes around it'll be quite a good feeling coming through me. Just getting out with all the guys I've been watching race for the last 10 years is going to be quite cool."

After impressing Red Bull at the young driver test in Abu Dhabi at the end of the season, Ricciardo will also get some running - with Toro Rosso - at the pre-season tests next month.

"I'm not sure what testing I'll be doing," he said. "They've told me, the Toro Rosso guys, that I'll be in the car for testing before Bahrain. I'm definitely driving in Bahrain on the Friday. It would be nice to be a bit more comfortable in the car and not have to be looking in the mirrors every corner."