Daniel Ricciardo says his goal is to secure an F1 race seat after receiving the first look at the Toro Rosso STR6 he will drive in Friday practice at selected events this season.
Ricciardo will act as test and reserve driver behind Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari this season having impressed during the Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi, where he topped the times for sister team Red Bull.
With no opportunities to join the grid this year, the 21-year-old insisted he was keen to use his reserve role as a springboard into a race seat in much the same way as Paul di Resta earned a race drive with Force India this year by following the same route.
“That's the aim,” he told GPUpdate
. “I'd love to be racing in Formula 1 full time in 2012 but I haven't really even started this year, so I always try not to look ahead too much.
“I think, if I can learn as much as I can and do a good job in the Friday free practices, hopefully they can set me up with something for the future.”
Should Ricciardo join the grid, his chances of racing on home soil could be in doubt with continued question marks over the future of the Australian Grand Prix and he admitted it would be a shame if the race were to come to an end.
“I think it would be tragic if Australia lost its Formula 1 event,” he said. “Every year I've been with friends and they've all said how great the weekend has been, so I think as a country it wouldn't be a good thing but for the people and the fans - they love Formula 1 coming to their country, so let's hope it stays there and I'm confident that it will.”