Mike Stevens | Nov 13, 2009

FOLLOWING REPORTS in August that Australian Formula 1 hopeful Daniel Ricciardo could earn a test in one of Red Bull's F1 cars, news this week confirms just that.

Hot on the heels of winning the 2009 Formula 3 championship in his rookie year, the 20 year-old Ricciardo will drive for Red Bull at the young driver tests from December 1 to December 3.

"This is something I’ve dreamed about since I can remember, so I’m really looking forward to it," the Australian told Red Bull’s official website.

“No way did I think I’d be getting this at the end of the year. I'm feeling very, very excited to be here and to see the seat’s getting done."

Ricciardo is widely regarded as Australia's next best chance for an F1 crown, and former F3 champions to have taken F1 championships include Ayrton Senna, Jim Clark and Mika Hakkinen.

This year, the F1 grid featured former F3 drivers in the likes of Rubens Barrichello, Nelson Piquet Jr and Jaime Alguersuari.

Alguersuari, last year's F3 champion, replaced Spanish driver Sebastien Bourdais at Toro Rosso this year after winning five races in the F3 series - one less than Ricciardo on his way to the 2009 series crown.

Brendon Hartley, Ricciardo's fellow Red Bull young driver, will steer a Toro Rosso car at the tests.

Hartley was believed to be higher in the Red Bull hierarchy, but with Ricciardo's elevation to the Red Bull car at the tests, it seems the situation may have changed.

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