Kolles: Ricciardo “one of the greatest talents in motorsport”

2011 British Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso, Sepang, 2011

Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso, Sepang, 2011

HRT team principal Colin Kolles lavished praise on his new driver Daniel Ricciardo, calling him “one of the greatest talents in motorsport”.

Ricciardo will make his F1 race debut for the team this weekend, taking the place of Narain Karthikeyan.

Kolles said: “I am very proud and happy to conclude the deal with Red Bull Racing and to welcome Daniel to our team.

“He is one of the greatest talents in motorsport and we hope to give him a lot of mileage in order to prepare him for the future.”

Ricciardo said he aims to finish as many races as possible for HRT: “I?m very happy to have my first Formula 1 race coming up in Silverstone.

“It means a lot to me. I?m sure, as many of us here, we dream it as kids but don?t really believe that one day it will actually happen! It will be a very special moment for me, perhaps a little emotional too.

“I am very happy with the deal. I didn?t think I would be racing an F1 car this season so for Red Bull to have found me a seat is awesome and I?m grateful to have this opportunity and the support from both teams.

“Hopefully it won?t take me too long to adapt to the car, in the past I think I?ve adapted well to new environments and cars so I?m confident that by the end of the weekend I will have made strong progress from the start.

“My aim is to finish as many races as I can and get the experience under my belt. I think this is most important for me as a young driver, experience is priceless. Of course, I would also love to bring the car and the team further up the grid and have some successful races.

“For the Silverstone weekend I think my first aim is to finish, physically and mentally this will be a good reward and all part of the learning process.

“I?ve been following Hispania?s progress this year but it?s hard to really know how a team is going unless you are involved and know the inside and outs. But I am sure they have improved since their debut season last year and this improvement seems like it?s going in the right direction.

“I think they are doing as well as they could be. I don?t recall any team coming into F1 and proving to be dominant immediately, it takes time. I?ve met [Vitantonio Liuzzi] a few times and I think I can learn a lot from him as he is very experienced in F1, he?s a cool guy. I?ve never met so Narain so I can?t say much about him but I?m sure he?s a cool guy too.

“As for Britain, I love London, I think it?s one of the best cities in the world, there is so much to do, so many cultures and great places to go. I love the circuit because of the high speed nature. I love high speed corners and at Silverstone they all flow very well and you can pick up a great rhythm. The Maggots-Becketts section is my favourite.

“I had probably my best ever race on this circuit back in June 2008. I was racing Formula Renault Eurocup and I won the race on the last lap with a few corners to go. We were far from the quickest all weekend but pulled something out of the bag in the last race and it was a big underdog performance.”

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55 comments on Kolles: Ricciardo “one of the greatest talents in motorsport”

  1. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 6th July 2011, 9:55

    I wonder, how much Red Bull paid to HRT to get a seat for Ricciardo, because Narain paid for his seat at the team.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 6th July 2011, 10:00

      If it’s just for money I wonder why they didn’t keep Narain and Daniel, as I think Liuzzi brings less sponsorship than Karthikeyan.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 6th July 2011, 10:10

        I think the deal with Narain allowed for HRT finding someone quicker if they came with money during the year.

        And they need Liuzzi to do the competative driving and good feedback to have a chance at improving long term, I guess.
        Now Ricciardo will add to that if they’re lucky.

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 6th July 2011, 10:31

        Liuzzi made them finish ahead of Virgin, and if ever another chaotic race occurs, Liuzzi seems like the a more likely candidate than Narain to beat the Lotus team.

  2. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 6th July 2011, 9:57

    This has to be one of the best moves the team have made yet – now they’ve got a least a half serious line up of drivers. Although I know a lot don’t read into the hype that arose after the Young Driver’s test.

    Silverstone is quite a first race though. It’ll be very interesting to see how he matches up to Liuzzi and also whether this move with draw in any sponsors to the team.

  3. F1iLike said on 6th July 2011, 10:06

    I hope he stays connected with Red Bull/Torro Rosso and this is just to get seat time. Such a waste of talent if he were to be stuck in HRT or face the faith of Bruno Senna or Chandhok because of a car you can’t even have a chance of proving yourself in.. Lets hope he blows Liuzzi away!

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 6th July 2011, 10:11

      As its Red Bull paying HRT for him to get the drive, I don’t think this brings that relationship to risk, rather the opposite actually.

      Will be interesting to see how he feels about the car, haven driven both the best car in the field and the STR recently.

      • ivz (@ivz) said on 6th July 2011, 13:17

        Yeah, when is the last time someone got to drive the best and worst car in the field all within less than 12 months?

        • Clay said on 7th July 2011, 2:26

          Probably Damon Hill when he went from the ’96 Williams into the ’97 Arrows…

          • Clay said on 7th July 2011, 2:27

            …actually a better comparison would be Eddie Irvine going from the ’99 Ferrari into the ’00 Jaguar!

  4. Liuzzi can’t win from this situation. He needs to make sure Daniel doesn’t even get close to his quali times.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 6th July 2011, 11:00

      If Ricciardo was just close to Liuzzi, it wouldn’t be much considering Ricciardo is “one of the greatest talents in motorsport” and Liuzzi is an average driver.

  5. Todfod (@todfod) said on 6th July 2011, 10:34

    The funding coming from Narain was probably keeping the HRT team alive this season, so I guess Red Bull must have offered a significant amount of money for them to just drop Narain mid season.

    Just goes to show that even pay drivers have to actually earn their spot on the grid these days.

  6. Huron (@huron) said on 6th July 2011, 10:44

    Ricciardo is the most overhyped driver of his generation.

    • mantolwen (@mantolwen) said on 6th July 2011, 10:58

      Yeah, I saw him driving last weekend in Formula Renault – or rather, didn’t. Jean-Eric Vergne is also a Red Bull driver but happens to be doing a lot better in the same series. Get him a seat at HRT!

      • Jim said on 6th July 2011, 13:43

        You’re obviously a close followers of WSR??

        The ISR is a shed, and Carlin have been far better cars. Can you name JEV’s team mate? When you find that out (and check the table) you’ll have everything you need.

        By the way, Dietrich Matesich has just sacked Helmut Marko and the entire talent spotting and development network at RBR. Apparently he’s been informed there were 2 undiscovered geniuses operating freelance on an unspecified website.


        • Huron (@huron) said on 6th July 2011, 15:40

          Looking good compared to Berthon is not exactly the most challenging task in the world of motorsport.

          I do follow WSR and Ricciardo has been consistently outclassed by Vergne, Wickens, Korjus, and even Rossi on occasion.

          Ricciardo is a good driver, but he is overhyped.

          • Mitchtj said on 6th July 2011, 15:53

            I think alot of that is the ISR car this season which seems to be either fast or… nowere really.

        • John Cousins said on 6th July 2011, 16:11

          Jim = Perfect response.

        • mantolwen (@mantolwen) said on 7th July 2011, 10:04

          JEV’s teammate is Robert Wickens who also happens to be doing very well. Daniel has managed to win in the ISR car this year. They might be a shed but the cars are all fairly similar. JEV and Wickens might be lucky enough to drive for Carlin but I’ve seen DR do well in the ISR car and do badly.

    • dfketr said on 7th July 2011, 19:04

      yes he is overhyped, his whole career has been as a result of “money” – as a child he was racing gokarts in my home town of Perth Western Australia, but he always had the best go kart, and this continued in every junior series, he didnt do it by talent, there were other kids as talent or more talented but didnt have teh financial backing. his dad payed his way overseas, and he already had sponsorship money form companies because he won junior series with the best equipment. But i guess that is how it it is f1 these days, joining HRT could be a fatal mistake though, and his first real challenge in racing, he could do worse then Senna last year, but with his money and redbulls backing, he will be given the better car and more attention from the team then liuzzi and will climbing his way to the top again.. another priviledge class driver like hamilton.

      • reppy said on 25th August 2011, 10:39

        What’s with the tall poppy syndrome in this country. Everytime someone “makes it” a bunch of people come out of the woodwork weilding axes and flame throwers…. Sure, have an oppinion but do you really think that you can frame a person for making a success if his life. From what I have seen over the past 20 years is that the best attract the best equipment and funding, and by the best I mean the drivers who are more complete, they are hard working, socially intelligent, fast, consistent and create good luck for themselves (their parents are usually the same too). If people like Ricciardo sat around moaning about others having better equipment then it might be safe to say that he’d be a “have not” too, no matter how many sacrifices his parents, friends, or team mates make for him.

  7. Tom, Dick & Harry said on 6th July 2011, 10:59

    I wonder how short the odds are on Karthikeyan returning for the Indian GP?

  8. Owen said on 6th July 2011, 12:06

    As an Australian I am as excited as anybody to see Ricciardo in an F1 seat, but I am really getting sick and tired of reading all this praise being heaped on him – the man hasn’t turned a wheel in anger in an F1 race and he’s already ‘one of the greatest talents’? Please! Let the man prove himself and then the praise will come naturally and be deserved.

    • Mike said on 6th July 2011, 15:37

      Well, Kolles would and kinda has to say that doesn’t he?

      Anyway, if you are cringing now, just wait to you hear our dear commentators rant about it. It’s going to be terrible!

      • Huron (@huron) said on 6th July 2011, 15:42

        Brundle and DC are too busy lavishing praise on Paul Di Resta.

        • Toro Stevo said on 6th July 2011, 17:15

          I think he’s talking about Rusty and the other fella who do the lead in to the grand prix coverage in Australia before we get the BBC commentary.

          They’re actually more cringe worthy than Brundle and DC are with Di Resta. Apparently Webber’s new first name is “Australia’s Mark”, and look for the same with Ricciardo next race. Not in James Allen’s league yet though.

      • Owen said on 6th July 2011, 22:33

        Oh **** I had forgotten about those *******.

        On another forum I visit whenever Mark Webber is referenced by anyone they use the acronym “AMW”, short for ‘Australia’s Mark Webber’, because as mentioned, apparently that’s his full name!

      • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 7th July 2011, 13:31

        He does need some PR friendly speak, but that is rather over the top.

  9. McLarenFanJamm said on 6th July 2011, 12:06

    So, Red Bull now fund two and a half teams on the grid…

  10. nackavich (@nackavich) said on 6th July 2011, 14:04

    So two Australians on the grid. As an Aussie im thrilled about that! When was the last time that happened?
    Lets hope he proves himself, most importantly in consistency. Yet I think a grid full of Aussies still wouldnt be enough to keep the Aussie GP in Melbourne for too much longer..

    • Toro Stevo said on 6th July 2011, 17:18

      So two Australians on the grid. As an Aussie im thrilled about that! When was the last time that happened?

      Was brought up in the earlier news story about Ricciardo coming in, and I think it was the 1977 Austrian GP. Also Alan Jones’ first win.

    • Jack Flash - Brisbane said on 7th July 2011, 10:53

      Alan Jones and Vern Schuppen I think in 1977. Jack Flash.

  11. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 6th July 2011, 14:29

    Yes he is a good talent but in a least talented team.I hope he finises as many races as possible so that he can get some good mileage under him.

    • Mike said on 6th July 2011, 15:38

      least talented team

      Ignoring that they have significantly less budget to work with?

      • David A said on 6th July 2011, 19:35

        Maybe he did ignore budget, as hey, they’re doing slightly better than Virgin. Beyond them, Wasif’s right.

        • Mike said on 7th July 2011, 4:57

          As I understand it the next team is Lotus, have last year had about double the budget.

  12. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 6th July 2011, 14:35

    This is a wonderfully sly move from Red Bull. By waving money in the faces of a vulnerable team like HRT, they have managed to give who is potentially one of their drivers some F1 race experience without Toro Rosso doing the usual mid-season drop. Very clever.

  13. Doance (@doance) said on 6th July 2011, 14:54

    It’s going to be hard to impress anyone in a HRT.

  14. Dan Selby said on 6th July 2011, 18:52

    Why? Look at Alonso/Webber in the Minardis.

    • Liam McShane (@motor_mad) said on 6th July 2011, 19:50

      agreed! I believe the HRT this year has alot of potential, obviously its not going to be winning races but with a good driver it could be fighting with Lotus, hopefully Ricciardo can show its potential.

    • hohum said on 6th July 2011, 21:20

      True words Dan, but also look at the highly rated Dutchman Jos Vercrashen.

  15. Girts said on 6th July 2011, 19:44

    I like Ricciardo. He is positive, good looking and smiles a lot. He doesn’t talk bs, his answers to the media questions are actually interesting to read / hear. It’s much too soon to declare him a future world champion and he has to prove himself yet. But the signs are good.

    I don’t think it’s necessarily bad to start a career with a backmarker team. Alonso drove a Minardi in his first year. The engineers will see Ricciardo’s true potential anyway, no matter how bad the car is. What I don’t like is that he will need to spend a lot of time letting the other cars lap him, which is something he probably isn’t used to. I have recently started to think that the idea of getting rid of the blue flags is actually not that stupid.

    • hohum said on 6th July 2011, 21:23

      Maybe the slow teams should have Bluetooth DRS activation built into their tail-light.

    • Huron (@huron) said on 6th July 2011, 21:46

      Without blue flags, teams like HRT would deliberately hold up lapping cars so they could get time on camera, thus pleasing their sponsors.

      The only time HRT gets on camera during a race is when they hold up lapping cars.

    • dfketr said on 7th July 2011, 19:19

      “He is positive, good looking and smiles a lot.” much like hamilton when he started f1, and dont forget it is easy to be that way when you always have the best car and always have a chance of winning. dont be fooled by this, lets see his demeanor when things are not going well.

  16. Ricciardo is really fast. If he goes to RBR next year, as some insiders are guessing, expect him to keep Vettel honest all season.

    • Prisoner Monkeys said on 7th July 2011, 1:49

      Ricciardo is a completely unproven quantity. He might have the speed right now, but there’s no telling how he’ll do until he actualy starts racing. For all we know, he could do what Romain Grosjean did and be a highly-rated driver who spends most of his time spinning around. Any suggestion that Red Bull already have him lined up for a seat at Red Bull Racing in 2012 is premature.

  17. The New Pope said on 7th July 2011, 1:06

    You know, I’ve never drank a Red Bull, and I never will. That said, I still like Seb, but I wish he raced for Mercedes.

  18. Prisoner Monkeys said on 7th July 2011, 1:36

    Is this the same Colin Kolles who said that Narain Karthikeyan could still cut it in Formula 1?

    • Toro Stevo said on 7th July 2011, 1:50

      There’s lies, and then there’s ‘lies’. It’s hardly endearing to slag off a pay driver you’ve just hired (or been paid to hire), doesn’t do anything for team morale. Sometimes you have to lie to keep the peace.

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