Ricciardo to make F1 debut for HRT at Silverstone

2011 British Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Abu Dhabi, 2010

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Abu Dhabi, 2010

Red Bull reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo will make his F1 debut at the British Grand Prix.

The 21-year-old, who has driven in the first practice session of every race this year for Toro Rosso, described the news as a “dream come true”.

The Australian driver will take Narain Karthikeyan’s place at the team as of next weekend.

Ricciardo said: “It’s a dream come true for me – for the first time on an F1 starting grid! I had to pinch myself a couple of times to be sure that it’s real.

“I’m excited and can hardly wait to drive at Silverstone. It’s a new challenge, a new experience, a new team, but I’m ready and will give of my best in any event.”

HRT chairman Jose Ramon Carabante said: “This agreement is a reward for all the hard work Hispania Racing has shown since we started in Formula 1 last year.

“We’re proud that the Formula 1 world champion team has trusted us in their effort of developing their drivers. Let’s hope that this is just the start of a fruitful relationship.”

See the updated list of 2011 F1 drivers and teams.

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171 comments on Ricciardo to make F1 debut for HRT at Silverstone

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  1. I cannot tell if this is a good or bad thing, I just hope for his sake he gets into a better car (Toro Rosso) sooner rather than later.

    • S.J.M (@sjm) said on 30th June 2011, 21:38

      well he can’t get a much worse car really.

      Good luck to him.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 30th June 2011, 21:39

      I’d say Buemi is delighted :).

      He should be driving a Red Bull next year, he would pose a bigger chalenge to Vettel than Webber… just saying….

    • Franton said on 30th June 2011, 23:48

      Seems like a poisoned chalice to me. It’s good he’s got an F1 drive but I think the team might hinder his career if he’s not careful.

    • sato113 (@sato113) said on 1st July 2011, 1:57

      this is the worst thing he could have done. career mistake, big time.

      • Chippie said on 1st July 2011, 1:59

        I second that. Last year FOUR drivers drove the HRT’s – and amazingly – NONE of them have drives for this year! No driver will look good at the back of the grid.

        • unocv12 said on 1st July 2011, 3:53

          May not be choice.

          Might be either

          1) HRT called and want you in the seat. We said yes, well done kid you got a seat in F1


          2) You wont get a seat until atleast next year as Alguarsuarie and Buemi are too similiar for now. If you get a shot elsewhere take it.

          NOT the worst move. He is ON LOAN not gone. i.e. He isn’t contracted to HRT. if HRT fire him for money or whatever, he goes back to Red Bull program where he shows that he is still as fast or faster than he was.

          Vettel went on loan to Sauber. Did a whole lot of test days in 2006. In 2007 after his debut race, they took him back and chucked him in a race seat at STR

        • Fixy (@fixy) said on 1st July 2011, 9:25

          But he is part of Red Bull and he is doing so just to get experience, not to win races. Red Bull won’t drop him when he finishes 23rd every time.

          • Mike said on 1st July 2011, 12:37

            Exactly. As a rookie, nothing will be expected, and on the off chance he can beat Liuzzi, well, that can only be good for his career.

            Driving for HRT isn’t a bad thing when everyone realizes it’s not the drivers fault.

            Red Bull has made the right move, it means when he does finally make the Red Bull switch, he will already be used to driving an F1 weekend.

        • Michael said on 1st July 2011, 10:03

          You’ve really got to look at this in context, Carabante has clearly stated that this is part of Ricciardo’s grooming process for RedBull.
          Therefore it’s not an attempt as other drivers have done, to start their F1 career in a developing team.
          It’s more like a dress rehearsal in preparing for an F1 weekend and can only be a good thing.
          It’s clever by HRT too, I know I’ll be watching their car in Quali anyway to see if he beats his teammate..

          • Klaas said on 1st July 2011, 11:41

            So HRT is somehow a testing team. Their purpose is not to compete but to give rookies an opportunity to get their grips on an F1 car. I wonder which team will buy Liuzzi’s seat.

        • sato113 (@sato113) said on 1st July 2011, 11:21

          not only is he racing an HRT but he’s joining them mid-season. look what happened to Grojean! or badoer for that matter

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 1st July 2011, 14:27

          No driver will look good at the back of the grid.

          Fernando Alonso?

      • Klaas said on 1st July 2011, 6:24

        Yeah, drivers only lose their reputation driving that piece of sh…it. How much until Ricciardo will be replaced too? HRT are only looking for money, once the funds are gone so is the driver.

    • Doance (@doance) said on 1st July 2011, 9:49

      Thats 2 aussies in F1! awesome, awesome, news.

      • sunnyside said on 1st July 2011, 17:10

        Not for long. This whole episode is RBR trying hard to decide how their drivers should be shuffled to find a suitable replacement for Webber.

    • TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 1st July 2011, 14:08

      Good. He gets race experience and he’s still under contract with the best team in F1.

  2. BasCB (@bascb) said on 30th June 2011, 20:38

    This will speed up the field a lot by taking out the slowes driver in the field. And it shows how good a job Alguersuari did in the last 2 races.

    So does anyone fancy a go at putting the red bull cans in a cool spot or putting them there were we can be? Any livery artists for the job?

  3. Fixy (@fixy) said on 30th June 2011, 20:39

    So it’s true! Time will tell, but I don’t think it’s a good decision.

    Let’s hope that this is just the start of a fruitful relationship.

    No it’s not.

  4. Dan8 (@dan8) said on 30th June 2011, 20:39

    I am really glad to here Ricciardo is making his debut, he seems like a great guy who is a excellent racing driver. Shame he has to start in an HRT though, but I bet by 2012 he’ll be in a Toro Rosso (when they decide whether to get rid of Buemi or Alguersuari). Karthikeyan sure didn’t last long!

    • Spaulding (@spaulding) said on 30th June 2011, 20:47

      Apparently HRT doesn’t like drivers from South Asia for more than 6 months at a time… of course maybe that has nothing to do with it, but they are making a habit of dropping drivers at around mid-year. Coincidence?

      • Fixy (@fixy) said on 30th June 2011, 21:44

        Second Indian left without seat by half-season.

        • OEL said on 30th June 2011, 21:53

          No Indian driver at the Indian Grand Prix?

          • Fixy (@fixy) said on 30th June 2011, 22:00

            Who knows, if Narain can bring even further money for his home race maybe HRT will let him race in place of Ricciardo, or in place of Liuzzi as he has less fundings and if he performs worse than Daniel.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 30th June 2011, 22:04

            I understood he is almost certain to be in the car for India.

          • Trix (@) said on 30th June 2011, 22:43

            OEL, ever since the first leaks of Ricciardo’s seat were put online, it has been said that Go-Karth will be put in the car just for the Indian GP…

          • Huron (@huron) said on 1st July 2011, 3:20

            I somehow doubt that Trulli will be racing at the Indian Grand Prix.

  5. mike77 (@mike77) said on 30th June 2011, 20:42

    If he is as good as he is hyped up to be, he could be up to 1.5s faster than Karthikeyan in qualifying – so I personally think that it’s a good move by HRT. Fruitful relationship??? No way!!

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 30th June 2011, 23:47

      There are no fruitful relationships to be had at HRT. Maybe the new restructuring will breath new life into the team though and give them some stability. I doubt it though.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st July 2011, 7:44

        There are no fruitful relationships to be had at HRT.

        There are, however, fruity relationships to be had given that the team is basically held together with toothpicks and chewing gum wrappers and Colin Kolles apparently decides the team’s driver line-up with a chocolate wheel.

        • Huron (@huron) said on 1st July 2011, 9:00

          Oh no, Colin Kolles has a very scientific method of deciding when to get rid of drivers: Cavities.

          Once a driver reaches a certain number of cavities, they are gone. Proper dental hygiene is the key to Formula 1 success.

  6. It will be interesting to see how he fares against Liuzzi. If the orthodoxy about those two drivers is correct, he should smash him. Probably won’t be so simple, however…

    • mename2332 (@mename2332) said on 30th June 2011, 20:50

      Don’t forget, that on his day, Liuzzi could beat Sutil in qualifying, infact he managed to qualify 6th at the 2010 canadian gp. Oh, and Kubica named him as 1 of 2 potential replacements (the other one was heidfeld)

      • Neusalz (@dpod) said on 30th June 2011, 21:01

        Well Kubica and Liuzzi are good friends. As for Nick I think they have a somewhat sour relationship especially when Nick was the favored driver at BMW and they have had multiple collisions in the past. I personally dont think Kubica would choose Liuzzi based on speed.

      • Don’t forget, that on his day, Liuzzi could beat Sutil in qualifying

        The problem with Liuzzi was it was never really his day often enough and as Sutil’s showing this year he isn’t always that quick either.

      • TFLB said on 30th June 2011, 21:30

        On all other days however Sutil was often a second or so faster.

      • Fixy (@fixy) said on 30th June 2011, 22:02

        Liuzzi should theoretically be much better than Sutil. He won the F3000 (which became GP2 and was won by Hamilton two years later) whilst Sutil has no particularly interesting results.

        • Eric said on 1st July 2011, 0:39

          Liuzzi is one of those drivers like Jan Magnussen who should have been much better than he has become. He was also a world karting champion. Its interesting how that happens to some drivers with a good pedigree and then other drivers like Kobayashi who had a less than spectacular GP2 career flourish when they hit F1.

          • Fixy (@fixy) said on 1st July 2011, 10:08

            You’re right and it’s sad these things happen. The drivers that are seen as future champions then become below-average. Like Pantano, who was a karting champion (Nico Rosberg grew with a poster of him in his room) and then competed in F1 in 2004 before being substituted mid-way.

  7. Anybody knows what’s the spanish phrase for “Red Bull”? We might consider renaming HRT soon.

  8. What about the Tata sponsorship? Thought that was tied to Karthikeyan.

  9. F1iLike said on 30th June 2011, 20:54

    Ricciardo should’ve said no.

    • TFLB said on 30th June 2011, 21:33

      I don’t think Red Bull would have reacted well to that. They don’t give their drivers much freedom of decision. I can remember reading an interview with Brendan Hartley after he was dropped in which he said that Red Bull wouldn’t even let him cut his hair because it was part of his image!

  10. Trix (@) said on 30th June 2011, 20:55

    Woop-woop for Daniel. No tears lost on seeing Karthikeyan go.

    However, leaving the RB7 for the slow-mo Hispania car is literally going from one extreme to another. I predict there will be some proper Australian flavoured cursing in the HRT garage over the next few races.

    • Quin10-10 said on 30th June 2011, 21:52

      Agree here, and It’s a no lose situation for him. If he’s no quicker it’s the car and if he is quicker more woops for him.

  11. George (@george) said on 30th June 2011, 20:56

    I wonder if this was a deal for technology or money?

    • Trix (@) said on 30th June 2011, 20:58

      Red Bull could be looking into properly testing Ricciardo’s F1 race skills as they appear to be playing musical chairs whether Webber should stay with them for another year or not…

      • jake said on 30th June 2011, 21:57

        he aint gonna show many race skills in an HRT

        • Scribe (@scribe) said on 30th June 2011, 22:46

          Actually he can show what all promising drivers show, teamate beating ability. If he beats Luizzi he’s a good chance of mooving up.

          This is an excellent move for all parties cept karthakayen. Redbull get to see whether the supposedly most promising driver in their YD programme has it or not, HRT get money for taking on a new driver, and more money when he leaves and they sell his seat again. Yay all!

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st July 2011, 7:49

        Red Bull could be looking into properly testing Ricciardo’s F1 race skills

        According to Autosport, that’s exactly what they’re doing. After all, before he joined Force India, Liuzzi raced for Red Bull and Toro Rosso. He was once a part of the Red Bull driver development scheme. It’s probably no accident that Ricciardo is racing alongside him specifically.

        I can’t imagine that the news he is being treated as the yardstick for Red Bull’s young drivers went down like clotted cream for Liuzzi.

  12. Fixy (@fixy) said on 30th June 2011, 21:05

    Considering tomorrow is Daniel’s birthday, this is a nice surprise for him!

  13. mrgrieves (@mrgrieves) said on 30th June 2011, 21:07

    Is this really a wise move for Ricciardo? theres getting into F1 then theres That bucket on wheels. Cant see how it will do him any good, Beating Liuzzi wont prove anything

    • Xanathos said on 30th June 2011, 21:16

      First he has to beat Liuzzi, then we will see if he really is a good driver. People are already talking about him replacing Webber next year when he hasn’t even raced in one single F1 race…
      Of course, he put in some great testing times during the last two seasons, but let’s not forget that he was driving the best car in the field.
      This seat is definetely a chance to get some F1 experience without too much pressure. So far he has only driven Formula Fenault cars…

  14. V.P.Oliver (@) said on 30th June 2011, 21:10

    Just a supposition: RED BULL is focusing AMERICA! They quit fm Nascar, sold STR to the Aabar group and decided to Sponsor US GP in Texas. That might explain why Marko has negotiated with HRT now to get a drive for Ricciardo. Perhaps with part of the money received from Aabar, they could turn the HRT as their Junior team by 2012 onwards=> Tata HRT with drivers Alguersuari and Ricciardo.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 30th June 2011, 22:05

      Why would they get HRT (always last) and drop STR (score points)? At HRT if you’re a good driver you can finish 22nd. At Toro Rosso you can prove yourself competing in the midfield and scoring points against tougher opponents.

      • txips said on 1st July 2011, 12:54

        STR was Minardi, so RB have experience turning the last place team into a point scoring team. I have no idea if VP Oliver is right but a reason RB would sell STR and buy into HRT is very simple, buy low sell high.

        Alonso and Webber both got their first F1 starts with Minardi. A laggard team bringing in young drivers to see what they are made of is not a bad thing. Points and finishing place mean nothing, the team can see all the telemetry of each driver and will know who has the talent to move up to stronger teams.

  15. If this doesn’t interefere with his Red Bull programme then it’s great news and it gives him some more experience. It’ll be interesting to see how he fairs against Liuzzi and I know the Italian never really showed off the amazing karting abilities that Joe Saward so adamantly believes in but he is very experienced so he’ll be a tough competitor but a good team mate to learn from.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 30th June 2011, 21:46

      I think Liuzzi will be a great team mate for him. Admittedly I don’t rate Liuzzi particularly highly but the guy has a wealth of experience. He made a similar drop from Force India to HRT so no doubt that experience will benefit Ricciardo.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 30th June 2011, 22:07

      Liuzzi once was part of Red Bull’s young driver academy. He was looking very strong before entering 4 F1 races in 2005. In 2010 he compared to Sutil like Hulkenberg did to Barrichello, and even though he obviously had more experience, he wasn’t rated as highly as the young German.

      • Scribe (@scribe) said on 30th June 2011, 22:53

        Don’t know about that. Luizzi had one properly good weekend all year. Hulkenburg showed increasingly good flashes as the year went on, and was challenging a driver of pretty high calibre. Barrichello’s challenged for titles and won 11 grand prix, getting close to Sutil isn’t really the same.

    • bosyber said on 1st July 2011, 6:59

      That is more or less what I thought when reading this too.

      Sure, the HRT won’t make him soar through the field, but we have seen (ALG, for example) that some racing experience helps a lot.

      If he can learn from Liuzzi, and from just being around, letting frontrunners pass, stay out of accidents and bring the car home, that’s valuable time in a car.

      The fact that the HRT is not a great car, without a large amount of updates, also helps to give him experience with that, as opposed to occasionally driving the STR or RBR cars which must be a very different experience.

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