The subs' bench for Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso will be an all-Australasian affair in F1 2010, with Red Bull Junior Team duo Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) and Brendon Hartley (New Zealand) being entrusted with the reserve role for the two teams on an alternate race-by-race basis.
Both men took part in the special end-of-season F1 young driver test at Jerez in southern Spain last December, with reigning British F3 Champion Ricciardo impressively topping the timesheets for RBR and Hartley – who relinquished his role as Red Bull test driver midway through last year in order to focus wholeheartedly on his racing, thereby likely missing out on making his grand prix debut in-place of Sébastien Bourdais at the Hungaroring in favour of Jaime Alguersuari – similarly performing well for the 'junior' concern.
Perth native Ricciardo first made a name for himself when his racing career bought him over to Europe. After competing in Formula Renault Italia in 2007, he moved to the Formula Renault West European Cup in 2008 and won the title, by virtue of ten pole positions and eight victories. He moved up a class again in 2009 to British F3, where six triumphs helped the 20-year-old to wrap up the championship with two races to spare.
Hartley, meanwhile, hails from Palmerston North, and after catching the eye in Formula Ford and the Toyota Racing Series on home turf, he similarly relocated to Europe to progress his career. In 2006, the 20-year-old contested the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup, before claiming the Eurocup title in 2007. In 2008 he moved to British F3 where he finished third, prior to graduating to the F3 Euroseries last year.
Both men will be expected to sit in on team briefings and debriefs, attend driver meetings and familiarise themselves with the everyday workings of the garage and pit-wall. They will also fulfil marketing commitments for the two energy drinks-backed operations.