F1, FR 3.5 Birthdays: 1/7/2011

It’s the first of June, and Formula One’s newest driver Daniel Ricciardo is celebrating his birthday in style. Or as much style as you can afford on an HRT budget. It is also Nathanael Berthon his ISR teammate’s birthday. Both are 22 today.

Frenchman Berthon began FR WEC and FR Eurocup in 2008, finishing 12th in the WEC. He remained in both series for the next season, finishing 6th in the Eurocup and 3rd in the WEC.
The next year he took part in FR 3.5, finishing seventh and winning at Magny-Cours after holding off Daniel Ricciardo. After F2 champion Dean Stoneman became ill and had to pull out of FR3.5, he came back for the current season to be Daniel’s teammate. So far he has only scored five points in the championship.

And as for Daniel Ricciardo, aside from his one-day-old Formula One career, who is he? I’m sure you’re all desperate to know a bit more about him before he takes to the track. Well, the Perth-born Aussie began Karting aged 9 before moving into Australian Formula Ford in 2005 aged 16.
He moved into Asian BMW, taking two wins and a pole position to finish third behind champion Earl Bamber (who currently drivers in Superleague Formula). He got his first British Formula BMW tryout after that, finishing eighth in his second race to get three points. He finished fifth in the Formula BMW world final.
Knowing that Europe was the place to be, Daniel entered European and Italian Formula BMW, but mainly the Italian series. He gained one podium and finished seventh. In 2008, the second year of his European racing, he won the Formula Renault Western European Cup and came second to Valtteri Bottas in the Eurocup.
Mid-2008, he took part in the Nurburgring round of F3 Euroseries and finished sixth. In 2009 he took part in British F3 for Carlin, and made his Formula Renault 3.5 debut. He won the British F3 title, the first Aussie since David Brabham to do so.
The next year he contested the entire Formula Renault 3.5 series, missing out on the title by a mere 2 points from Mikhail Aleshin. This year he continues in the series, though the Carlin drivers and Kevin Korjus have the advantage on him.
And of course there is Formula One. He has been Red Bull/Toro Rosso reserve, and now he’s found his way into Hispania. It’s a strange way to start, but Hispania wouldn’t say no to a spare bit of cash from the championship leaders. We shall see how he does at Silverstone, but don’t expect any points.

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