Twelve months ago, Daniel Ricciardo was at a career crossroads. After a strong end to the previous season and some promising early performances in 2013, he endured poor Monaco and Canadian Grand Prix weekends, during which he was comfortably outperformed by Toro Rosso team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne. The timing of this mini-slump couldn't have been worse, and it might have changed the whole course of his life.
A week and a half later, on the eve of the British GP weekend, came the announcement that a vacancy would be opening up at Red Bull thanks to Mark Webber's switch to sportscars. Ricciardo had a shot, but things weren't going well.
He was highly regarded by Red Bull for his prodigious speed, but did he have the other qualities needed to convert that into consistent results? Did he have the grit, the determination, the ability to turn around a weekend that had started badly?