Red Bull and Toro Rosso Formula 1 reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo has announced that he will miss the opening Formula Renault 3.5 round at Motorland Aragon on April 16-17.
The Australian had his first on-track grand prix experience at Melbourne last weekend, when he drove Jaime Alguersuari's Toro Rosso during Friday practice, and will again perform Formula 1 reserve driver duties at the Chinese Grand Prix.
The Spanish World Series event's date clash with Shanghai will delay Ricciardo's race debut with his new Formula Renault 3.5 team ISR.
"I'll be in the [F1] car again for first practice in Malaysia in a couple of weeks, and then Shanghai again a few weeks later," confirmed Ricciardo. "Unfortunately, that means that I'm going to miss the first Formula Renault 3.5 race in Spain. It's great to get more F1 time, and I'm hugely grateful for the opportunity, but it just means I'm going to have to work a bit harder to win the FR3.5 title this year!"
Ricciardo is expected to be a leading contender for this year's Formula Renault 3.5 title. The Perth racer finished runner-up in last year's series with Tech 1 Racing, and has set a number of fastest testing times in 2011 with his new Czech squad ISR.
A Red Bull appointed Junior driver, or ISR team boss Igor Salaquarda's son Filip, are the leading candidates to replace Ricciardo at Aragon.