Team: Toro Rosso
Birth date: 01/07/1989
First F1 race: British Grand Prix, 2011
2012 points: 10
2012 best finish: 9
2012 championship position: 18
Daniel Ricciardo wormed his way into the Formula 1 big time first as a test driver for Red Bull, topping the end of season young drivers’ test in both 2009 and 2010. He attracted the attention of team bosses at Milton Keynes, who sent him to work as a backup driver in 2011 for Toro Rosso.
With the two top drivers keeping him locked out, he was loaned off to back-grid team HRT half way through the season, eventually getting his F1 race debut here in the UK at Silverstone.
Ricciardo couldn’t expect to do much in the car he was given, but must have done enough to convince Toro Rosso he had a future as they signed him up for 2012 for his first full season.
Young, naturally fast driver working close with Red Bull? Yes, along with plenty other drivers on Red Bull’s young driver scheme he will inevitably have to deal with comparisons with Sebastian Vettel.
2013 predictions: “Coming into the season this year it’s not enough to just be here and be racing, I want to be here for a purpose and make something good happen.”
Did you know? Both Ricciardo and teammate Jean-Eric Vergne admitted publicly they weren’t exactly the closest buddies in the paddock. “We don’t see each other away from the track and we are not friends,” Vergne told the Sydney Morning Herald. Wit a potential Red Bull seat up for grabs, perhaps that’s not so surprising.