The Red Bull Junior Team has shown its confidence in Tech 1 Racing ahead of the 2010 World Series by Renault, placing both Brendon Hartley and recently-crowned British F3 champion Daniel Ricciardo at the Toulouse-based team.
Having clinched the British F3 crown with a round to spare, Ricciardo got the chance to sample World Series power at Portimao late in 2009, but was expected to at least consider GP2 before deciding his future. However, Tech 1 team manager Simon Abadie promised a pair of top-class drivers for his bid to reclaim the WSbR titles next season and, by pairing the Australian with Hartley - who combined a year of 3.5-litre Renault action with F3 Euroseries outings - he appears to have achieved his aim.
"It's all very simple - we've got the best drivers," Abadie commented, "Both Brendon and Daniel have the talent to get into F1 and score victories, and it's a real sign of recognition for the team to have been chosen by Dr Helmut Marko to defend the Red Bull Junior Team colours.
"In addition to that, we're really lucky to be able to announce our 2010 drivers so early. That'll help us to do a great job this winter, and arrive at Motorland Aragon perfectly prepared for the opening round of the season next April.
"Daniel's already proved his ability to adapt very quickly. He's a great guy and we're delighted to welcome him into our team. He'll get to grips with his car during the collective test at Barcelona next week, while Brendon's learned a lot [with Tech 1] this season and has shown incredible speed. He'll already have a year's experience under his belt in this formula, which will make him one of the favourites for the drivers' title [in 2010]. We didn't have a lot of luck with him in 2009 but, next year, when we fit all the pieces together, he'll be one hell of a challenger!"