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NOVEMBER 26, 2010

Ricciardo to turn up heat on Toro Rosso pair

On the back of his recent strong showing in the Red Bull at the Abu Dhabi young driver tests, Toro Rosso has appointed Australian Daniel Ricciardo its third and reserve driver for 2011

A team statement said: "This is not just an "honorary" appointment as the 21-year-old will drive in the Friday morning free practice sessions at all grands prix, replacing each of our current two drivers in turn."

The move will increase the pressure on current incumbents Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi, with Red Bull having previous form for dropping race drivers Scott Speed and Sebastien Bourdais mid-season.

Team principal Franz Tost said: "When our team was created, its stated aim was to bring on young drivers from the Red Bull junior programme, so Daniel's appointment as our third driver is an obvious one. Although Daniel has done some F1 testing already, running on Fridays will give him a valuable insight into the additional pressures of doing it for real during a race weekend. I am also sure that having a hungry youngster on the books will keep our current driver pairing nice and sharp!"

Said Ricciardo: "I am really excited at the prospect, so I have to say thanks to Red Bull for this great opportunity. My main priority for 2011 is to win the Formula Renault 3.5 championship, but my ultimate aim is to be a full-time F1 driver and this new role has to be the best step towards achieving that ambition."