Ricciardo ready to make Red Bull debut on home soil

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March 16th 2014 will be an important date in Daniel Ricciardo’s diary. Having made his debut mid-way through the 2011 season for HRT, the Australian driver will finally get the chance to prove his worth as he makes his first appearance for Red Bull.

The defending world champions promoted Ricciardo from sister team Toro Rosso after Mark Webber confirmed his retirement from Formula 1 at the end of last season. After two years battling in the midfield, a berth at Red Bull is a huge opportunity for Ricciardo.

However, his first race for the team is made all the more important by the fact that it is his home event: the Australian Grand Prix.

“If we went to Malaysia or Bahrain for the first race then I’d be able to ease into my career with Red Bull Racing but in Oz, I assume the weekend will be right up there in my face!” he joked. “I’ll enjoy it and hopefully use the positive energy of the crowd to give me a good result.”

The race, held at Albert Park in Melbourne, has been the curtain-raiser for all but two years since 1996, and Ricciardo says that is a source of pride for Australia to have such an honor.

“Albert Park always tends to be a pretty exciting race. It’s great that Australia has a grand prix and a source of pride that it’s everybody’s choice to kick-start the season.

“I’m very, very excited about the new season. It’s always good fun going to Melbourne, it’s a great city and I like racing on street circuits.”

Ricciardo will be the sole Australian driver to be racing in Formula 1 this season following Webber’s retirement, and he will be hoping that Red Bull’s testing disaster doesn’t continue into the opening round of the season next weekend.

Toro Rosso boss hopes to see Kvyat return to Formula 1

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Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost hopes to see sacked driver Daniil Kvyat return to Formula 1 in the near future, saying the Russian “deserves” a place on the grid.

Toro Rosso dropped Kvyat twice through the 2017 season due to poor form, with his final dismissal coming after the United States Grand Prix in October.

Kvyat is no longer part of Red Bull’s motorsport program and is exploring options both inside and outside of F1 for 2018, and Tost feels he could be energized by some time away before returning.

“I am still convinced that Daniil has a very high natural speed. He was sometimes even faster than Daniel Riccardo, but somehow last year and this year he couldn’t show the potential that is within him,” Tost told the official F1 website.

“He was involved in many incidents, but in his defence I also have to say that he had many reliability issues and that didn’t help build up confidence. Being the victim of too many incidents killed the performance he would have been able to show.

“Maybe a short break – to get organized again – and probably we will see Daniil back at his usual performance level with another team.

“Sometimes he was too aggressive at the beginning of the race. The first corner was his weak point. He wanted too much in the first hundred meters – success by any means!

“That puts you under pressure – unnecessary pressure – and that never works.

“I hope for him that he gets another chance, as I think he deserves to be in F1.”