IT has been all smiles…

Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo

The 24-year-old Toro Rosso driver, the fourth Australian to land a spot with a leading F1 team, aims to be on the podium next year.

‘I feel very, very good at the moment and obviously there’s a lot of excitement running through me,’ he said.

Italian racing fans will be more inclined now to claim him as their own. His father, Joe, was born in Sicily, and told when his son got the drive with Toro Rosso that the Italians were closing in.

‘Yes, they’re trying to claim him in Italy,’ Joe said. ‘But his roots are here and he’s got the Aussie flag on his helmet.’