Remember the name Daniel Ricciardo, it could be the next Australian name in Formula One if the 20 year old Western Australian’s career continues on its current trajectory. Earlier this year Daniel won the British Formula 3 title with the Volkswagen powered Carlin team. He dominated the series winning seven of the 13 races.
Surprisingly, Ricciardo also dominated the time sheets on day three of F1 testing at Jerez where he was driving an RB5-02 for Red Bull Racing. Completing 77 laps in all his best time of 1:17.418 was almost one second faster than the rest of the field. Not only that, it is the quickest lap recorded at Jerez for all of 2009.
“These last three days have been an incredible experience for me,” said Daniel. “I would like to thank Red Bull for giving me this great opportunity, which has made me even more determined to make it into Formula 1 one day. I know it was just a test, but seeing my name on the top of today’s timesheet was really something special.”
Red Bull were testing aerodynamic components for their 2010 machine and who knows, maybe it won’t be long until Mark Webber has a mate atop the F1 podium.
More pics from Daniel and Red Bull Racing at Jerez can be seen after the jump. For background info there is also a press release from Volkswagen Motorsport announcing Ricciardo’s 2009 British F3 success.
[via The Motor Report]
Volkswagen driver Daniel Ricciardo wins British Formula 3
Wolfsburg (13 September 2009). Volkswagen driver Daniel Ricciardo won the British F3 Championship at the penultimate round of the season in Portimão after taking maximum points in the first race and finishing seventh in the second race. As a result, Volkswagen took the championship spoils in only its first year after returning to Great Britain’s highest ranking single-seater race series.
Following two race victories in the season opener at Oulton Park the Australian Ricciardo was the driver to beat throughout the 46th running of the traditional series. After taking third place in the first race behind two ‘wild card’ starters on the new track at Portimão, the 20-year old from the Volkswagen customer team Carlin Motorsport took maximum points for the sixth time this season with his near 210 hp Volkswagen power plant. He mounted the the podium on five further occasions in the previous 18 races. Ricciardo started four times from pole position. Volkswagen has three other race winners in its ranks with Max Chilton (Carlin Motorsport), currently fourth in the standings, and the fifth placed man Adriano Buzaid and Wayne Boyd representing team T-Sport. In addition to Volkswagen, power units from Mugen-Honda and Mercedes-Benz are also used in the hard fought British Championship.
“Congratulations to Daniel Ricciardo and Carlin Motorsport on winning the title. I’m absolutely delighted that we are so successful straight away in Great Britain in our comeback year in the series,” says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. “As a result, Volkswagen has already won its second title this year in a national Formula 3 Series following Laurens Vanthoor’s victory in the German ATS Formula 3 Cup.”
With his total of 240 points Ricciardo holds an unassailable lead 64 points ahead of Renger van der Zande (Netherlands/Dallara-Mercedes) after 18 of 20 races. There are 42 points still to be awarded at the season finale at Brands Hatch (20 September). “It’s dream, simply indescribable,” says the delighted Red Bull protégée. “I’m incredibly happy that I’ve wrapped up the title and can now compete at Brands Hatch without the pressure. A big thank you obviously goes to my team and Volkswagen.”
For Volkswagen it is the sixth British Formula 3 title. Ricciardo’s predecessor’s Johnny Dumfries (1984), Mauricio Gugelmin (1985), Andy Wallace (1986), Johnny Herbert (1987) and David Brabham (1989) used their success as spring board for a later career in Formula 1 or sportscars, where they claimed several victories in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans.