Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo has confirmed that he will get to test with Scuderia Toro Rosso over the next month, prior to the season opener in Bahrain, on March 13.
Ricciardo put in an ultra-impressive performance with double F1 2010 World Champions Red Bull Racing during the Young Driver test in Abu Dhabi at the end of last year, topping the times on both days, and that earned him the reserve role with Dietrich Mateschitz's 'junior' outfit. In addition to running during the Friday free practice sessions this year though, it has now emerged that he will take in up to three of the four pre-season tests.
“I'm not sure what testing I'll be doing,” the 21-year-old explained in an interview with The West Australian
newspaper. “[But] they've told me, the Toro Rosso guys, that I'll be in the car for testing before Bahrain.
“[Then] 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,” added the 2009 British F3 champion and 2010 World Series by Renault runner-up.
Meanwhile, in a separate development, Red Bull motorsport advisor Dr. Helmut Marko told motorsport-total.com
recently that Ricciardo will almost certainly get the chance to graduate to the pinnacle of the sport in twelve months time.
“It all depends on the parties involved. [But] the plan is to see him in a race cockpit in 2012 at the latest,” Marko confirmed.
Asked about those comments, Ricciardo added that while they are a boost, he knows a lot could change in the coming months.
“I can't really rest on that, that I'll be in [F1] next year,” he continued. “If I have a bad year this year, I'm sure he'll change his mind.
“I'm always excited to start a season though. 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,” summed up the Aussie, who will combine his test duties with Toro Rosso this season by having another crack at the World Series by Renault.