In a career full of big steps, Daniel Ricciardo's biggest came in 2011: the Australian was given the job of replacing each of our two race drivers in turn during Friday's first practice sessions at the Grands Prix, so the man from Perth was now a regular in the F1 paddock. It got even more serious just after the mid-season: starting from the British Grand Prix he got a full time drive with now-defunct HRT, which definitely boosted his experience level. Ever-smiling, Ricciardo made a name for himself when his racing career bought him to Europe. Winning titles in junior formulae, earned him a berth at the end-of-season F1 test for rookies and again Ricciardo duly delivered, leaving the Jerez shoot-out with far and away the best times, after driving for sister team Red Bull. His consistent pace and intelligent feedback in those tests earned him the 'super-sub' role as test and reserve driver for Toro Rosso and Red Bull in 2010. His first season with Toro Rosso however was marked by plenty of setbacks, as he finishing no higher than ninth four times and ended the season 18th in the drivers' standings.
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