Daniel Ricciardo.
Daniel Ricciardo. Getty Images Sport - Paul Gilham

Ricciardo a Toro Rosso driver

AUSTRALIAN Daniel Ricciardo has been confirmed as a Toro Rosso driver for next season's Formula One championship.

The 22-year-old joins Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne in the Torro Rosso garage in a major shift from the previous season's line-up of Sebastien Buemi and Jamie Alguersuari.

A member of the Red Bull Junior Driver programme, Ricciardo drove regularly for Toro Rosso on Friday's free practice before joining HRT as a full-time driver late in the season.

The West Australian competed in 11 races for the struggling HRT team, finishing 27th in the drivers' standings, before returning to Toro Rosso.

"This is a really big deal for me and something I have wanted ever since I was driving for Toro Rosso on Friday mornings at the races in the first part of last season," he told Formula1.com.

"To be honest, I am still jumping up and down with excitement at the news."

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