Daniel Ricciardo, HRT, Interlagos, 2011

Ricciardo eyeing opportunity to join Lotus

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: Daniel Ricciardo sees a chance to replace Jarno Trulli at Lotus.


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Ricciardo revs up for 2012 (The West Australian)

“If [Heikki] Kovalainen was to be my team mate, it’s someone very good to measure up to. He’s won a Grand Prix before and he’s smashed [Jarno] Trulli this year.”

Nico Hulkenberg via Twitter

“Still, there’s no news on 2012.”

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“New drivers in F1 these days are just like bank accounts. Without a lot of money, they don’t generate a lot of interest.”

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“It means I need to set up a timetable to make sure I can learn things in a different way. Six days of testing is a very short period of time, and not quite enough to be ready for Melbourne. So we need to set up a good programme so that the two months in winter can be used for the best.”

Red Bull set to dominate? (BBC)

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Eddie Jordan confirms he will remain at the BBC in 2012.

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“This was where you realise what a wasted opportunity KERS is as a story in F1, as we looked in detail at the way Lewis Hamilton used it to pass Sebastian Vettel in China. Hamilton deployed the KERS button for a good long burst in a place where you would never do it if you were looking for lap time; turns six and seven and yet he did so because he knew it could give him the surge he needed to get alongside Vettel on the inside for the left hander. And so it proved.”

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Jenson Button: “The early days were great, but Formula Ford was also very special – the first year of kart racing together and we had a lot of good fights that season. Most of the time you couldn’t beat him so, when you did, it really did mean a lot. He’s the guy you’d get out of bed to race.”

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Comment of the day

Fixy is not pleased by HRT’s new direction:

They should sign drivers based on their talent, not nationality, which in my opinion is worse than signing drivers for money. They aren?t signing a driver with money (equals sponsors), but someone who might get sponsors thanks to his country of origin.

Pedro de la Rosa is surely an expert driver, but when I see how they are desperate to keep ties with Dani Clos, who has seldom excelled in GP2, I feel they are exaggerated.

I?m glad they are thinking ahead and not waiting the final moments before taking such important decisions, though, and I as well am looking forward to seeing them next year, hopefully battling against Marussia.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

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80 comments on “Ricciardo eyeing opportunity to join Lotus”

  1. would love to see riccardo drive again. it’s a shame that promising young drivers cant prove their worth in slow machinery. I wonder if Hamilton had made his debut in an HRT like car, whether he’d be in the midfield or at the front 5 years later…

    but shouldn’t it be Caterham or still team lotus in the round up title?

    1. @sato113 I have answered this one before and I have no doubt I will in every other story involving Lotus, Renault or Virgin between now and the end of the year.

      Anyway, as far as I’m concerned it’s still 2011 and they’re still Lotus. The opening paragraph refers to Trulli so it is abundantly clear which team this refers to.

      No doubt if I’d called them Caterham I’d have some people saying “but aren’t they actually still Lotus?” And they’d be right.

      1. But aren’t they already called Caterham in the 2012 entry list, which has already been released by the FIA?

        1. Key word there is “2012”. Keith put it perfectly clear that he’s considering the news as 2011 news, where they were known as Team Lotus.

          1. Indeed. Wouldn’t it be strange to have Caterham in the title to an article looking at Team Lotus’ efforts in 2011!

      2. fair enough. I understand what you originally meant, i just think all the f1 neewbies need to get a head start by refering to team lotus as caterham. especially now the entire f1 fraternity are now saying ‘caterham’. just my two cents.

        1. just my 2 cents it’s still 2011 untill january 1st 00:01 just because the seasons over doesn’t mean we have invented time travel.

      3. If Ricciardo was to race in 2012 then he would be racing for Caterham. No need to discuss Lotus. So get it right, like this:
        Daniel Ricciardo has admitted there is a chance he could race for Caterham in 2012


        1. That isn’t right. The article you linked to is clearly talking about 2012, in which case, the team will be called Caterham. “Ricciardo may drive for Caterham in 2012.” This sentence is correct.

          As the team is still called Lotus (for now). “Riccardo wants to replace Trulli at Lotus” is also correct. Ricciardo wants to drive for the team, currently called Lotus.

          1. team lotus actually (+1 point lol)

        2. @Mike – exactly.

          Now, can we give up on this as a potential source of cheap points-scoring?

          1. hehe ok ;)

      4. @keithcollantine

        as far as I’m concerned it’s still 2011 and they’re still Lotus.

        Today is December 7th, which means the final meeting of the World Motorsports Council for 2011. It is my understanding that the Virgin, Renault and Lotus name changes will be ratified at this meeting. They’ll officially be known as Marussia, Lotus and Caterham respectively as of some time today. Although since there is no racing until March 2012, it hardly matters what they’ll be called. And I expect most of the media and fan attention will be focused on Austin’s immediate future, since today is also the deadline for their management.

        1. Which means that at the time of publishing, the title is correct?

          What is it with people and titles?

      5. So what if they are still “actually” team lotus, this is more confusing everybody knows they are going to change / have changed their name.

    2. I think there’s no reason to use the 2012 names already now. The rebranding has not happened yet and the teams still call themselves Marussia Virgin Racing, Lotus Renault GP and Team Lotus just as they did at the beginning of this year. Moreover, most people are still emotionally living in the 2011 season, the traditional season reviews have just started to appear.

  2. Good grief! no comments yet.

    1. Should have refreshed before commenting.

  3. Cheers @keithcollantine! Now if my mates would hurry up for a day of motocross…

    1. Sounds like a great idea to celebrate @stretch! Happy Birthday today.

    2. Happy birthday @Stretch!

  4. Great news about Eddie Jordan! The man is mental (crashing Domenicali’s Interlagos press conference, for a start) and makes great TV.

    The BBC’ve got a good team for either side of the race, but with Brundle & Crofty (definitely?) gone, they’re looking a little shaky when the lights are out.

    Is Ted Kravitz staying, does anyone know?

    1. domenicali looked less than pleased i think he really wanted to call in some mafia favours there.

      1. Ted is all but confirmed to be at sky it seems we’ll find out in a few hours, they release the line up today. They will still have dc for sure i do wonder who will be the colour man though, maybe legard that would surely upset some people lol.

        1. ‘Red Bull on a charge!’ – might not even come back after being dropped this year.

        2. They will still have dc for sure i do wonder who will be the colour man though, maybe legard that would surely upset some people

          I’ve heard rumours that Sky are wooing Nigel Mansell to take EJ’s role.

          1. But the only entertaining thing about Mansell is his ‘tache, and he shaved that off. He’s also almost as misguidedly opinionated at Lauda…then again it would certainly serve people right for buying into Sky :).

        3. I guess they will be presenting it with the “defenitive” calendar in the afternoon/evening then.

  5. I’d much prefer to see Ricciardo in there with Kovalainen next year. Lotus seem to be the only team that has the staff and ability to break into the midfield and out of Q1. Heikki impressed me this year, while Jarno complained about power steering.
    At the very least Ricciardo would be more enthusiastic and Heikki and Lotus a better barometer of his talents.

    1. heikki is the finest available yard stick but they really need a car capable of challenging other teams next year.

      1. I’m not sure how feasible that is. On one hand, they were closer than ever in Brazil. And the team is seemingly on a high.

        However, that last .5 of a second is going to be so much harder to make than the first 3 seconds.

        I hope Ricciardo gets the seat. I like Trulli, but he just isn’t performing anymore.

        1. All else being equal, that last .5 of a second should be the KERS they didn’t run in 2011.

          1. True. That should help. I really hope they can do it.

          2. I think the problem is that other teams don’t stand still, while Lotus has to catch up with them. So while Lotus are busy implementing KERS, the others can focus on improvements in other areas. If the 2012 Caterham car is as competitive as Williams was in 2011, it will be a big achievement.

          3. @mike, I think you are pretty optimistic for the estimate of how much KERS will bring them.

            In several cases the estimates were in the region of 0.4 seconds / lap for the best KERS system available, from Mercedes.
            But the Red Bull unit has less capacity and output. This year it was rumoured to be worth about 0.2-0.3 seconds a lap, if working.

            I expect they will make improvements to that, but it will still be rather 3-4 tenths than half a second. That means Caterham still have to find several tenth a second to really be into the fray from their chassis relative to the other teams.

            And I would expect Williams to do better relatively this year, as they won’t be concentrating on that superbly tight bum gearbox of theirs too much.

          4. On top of that, the other teams aren’t going to stand still. Caterham will have to be at least 5 tenths quicker, on top of however much they need to gain just to stay where they are now.

    2. @collosal-squid – very accurate higlight of that team driver line-up

      Heikki impressed me this year, while Jarno complained about power steering

      I think that really makes it clear how a majority of the fans would welcome an exiting new driver to replace Trulli next year.

      1. I think it’s sad in a way. I liked Jarno and thought his career was worth more than that one Monaco win.
        But you are right, I’d say most fans want to see someone else in his seat now. He should retire gracefully rather than hang on for reasons unknown.

      2. Carlito's way
        7th December 2011, 12:20

        exCiting. Sorry couldn’t resist :)

        1. yeah, suppose its an important difference when talking about drivers like Trulli Carlito’s way!

      3. I can understand Jarno hanging on as long as possible. If it were me, I would not exit even the worst F1 car without a fight. For drivers at Jarno’s grade, there will be no triumphant return.

        Really, what is left in a driver’s life after F1? Answer: A much less capable car.

  6. Another non-Red Bull seat backed by Red Bull for Ricciardo? They’re really doing yound driver program hard! I don’t know it’s good or bad. It would be good if such driver could get more mileage and once he gets competitive car, he should pull out of it much more. the bad thing is opportunity of entering F1 is getting slim and slim. of course I don’t think Jarno Trulli should deserved the seat though…

  7. Hope Sutil goes to Lotus, but I think he’ll be at Williams or Renault next year. He needs a new challange after being at Force India for so long, and it looks like he might have to find a new challange as the team are about to chuck him – hopefully he finds a drive because he has driven well this year.

    I’m surprised there’s been no confirmation of the Force India driver’s yet – looks like Di Resta and Hulkenberg are to be picked – and it should be interesting to see the outcome in such a fresh line up; Nico showed some good potential at Williams, and Paul showed some good pace in quali and had a few good points finishes, even though he was beaten by the underrated Sutil.

  8. If Ricciardo is talking about going to Lotus because he doesn’t think he’ll be at Toro Rosso next year, then that begs the question – who does Hispania have lined up to join Pedo de la Rosa?

    I reckon it will either be Giedo van der Garde or Jan Charouz.

    1. I’d guess it will be someone who pays. Do either of those have funding behind them?

      1. I believe they both do. Van der Garde has connections to Dutch fashion label McGregor, who used to sponsor Williams. Charouz is connected to the Charouz Racing System (CHRS) Le Mans team – his father operates it – and paid for his test session in Abu Dhabi and his Friday practice running at Interlagos, though I don’t know exactly where his money comes from.

        I suppose Dani Clos is also an option for Hispania. He has some money to his name – his father-in-law gave him $1 million as a wedding gift to kick-start his Formula 1 fund – and Hispania seem to be playing up the Spanish angle of the team, but I think they’ll wait until they are competitive before putting a fast, young Spaniard in the car.

        1. Now Minardi were hardly competitive in 2001, were they?

          1. True … but in 2001, they had the respect that came with being in the sport for sixteen years. What they didn’t have was a financial axe lingering over their necks the way Hispania perpetually do.

          2. @prisoner-monkeys, wasn’t Minardi the perpetual backmarker for that long by surviving on a shoestring budget year on year though?

            In a sense, HRT are already 2 years into their own tradition of doing just that, so who knows, maybe in another 14 years from now they will be widely known (respected?) for taking over that mimicker from Minardi!

            And they might even find that in that time they had their own cases of drivers who became winners and champions.

          3. I like to think Minardi’s popularity came from the way they knew that they didn’t stand a chance, but they still showed up every year – and they didn’t need to resort to cheap tricks like advertising THIS COULD BE YOU on the side of their cars.

        2. True, but even if they did get booted out of the sport at the conclusion of the 2012 season, there is the chance that they could say a future world champion drove for them.

      2. Yes Mike, that was the prime reason for @prisoner-monkeys to offer these guys.

        Both know how to drive fast cars, have won a couple of races but their main selling argument would be sponsorship money. I think HRT might be in for signing either another spaniard (but they already have Pedro and it looks like Clos will be paying to get a 3rd driver role), or it might be that either Petrov or Senna end up there when Renault goes another route.

        Who knows we might even see Narain keep connected with the team as 3rd/4th driver landing him at least another Indian GP later next year (if Tata is willing to support such a deal).
        It seems Kolles is not the prime suspect for making driver choices there anymore, but the new guys are just as unpredictable. So I wouldn’t be supprised to see someone completely different to all names previously heard landing that seat!

        1. it might be that either Petrov or Senna end up there when Renault goes another route

          Senna’s presence at the team would depend on Colin Kolles’. Kolles didn’t think much of Senna in 2010; he said that Davide Valsecchi learned more about the Hispania F110 in a single afternoon (at the Young Drivers Test) than “some drivers” did over the course of a season. If Kolles is still there, then I doubt Senna would be able to get a seat, no matter how much sponsorship he brings.

          Petrov might look at Hispania, but only as a last resort. If he does not stay at Renault, then I’d say his money will go a long way at Williams, Force India or Caterham.

          1. I actually agree with you there @prisoner-monkeys, and I would not even be sure Senna would be wanting to go back to the team after their last experiences.

            It seems we might still have a bit of a chairdance session awaiting us in the coming weeks with HRT, Trulli’s seat, STR not completely sure, Renault, Force India not committed officcially, Williams choosing, etc.

    2. I would think that Ricciardo does not mention HRT, not for the team not wanting him/not finding a place for him but for Red Bull wanting to get him into a team where he can further grow.

      Team Lotus use the same engine as Red Bull does, they use the same gearbox and they will have the same KERS unit next year as Caterham. And with the added benefit of having another strong engineer in a prominent place in the team, not unlike the role Newey has at Red Bull.

      What better preparation could a driver have, save driving for actual Red Bull themselves!

    3. @prisoner-monkeys I still hope that van der Garde will make his entrance in the sport, despite him needing money to convince a team.

      But as you mentioned, Dani Clos is also waiting in line and you have Petrov, Senna and maybe even Sutil or Trulli – not mention Hulkenberg… oh and d’Ambrosio.

      I just keep on hoping, for van der Garde. And hoping that he will be a Kobayashi-like revelation. But I have fear for both my hopes….

  9. If Daniel does get the gig then it will be interesting to see how red bull will judge webbers successor – puts the toro rosso drivers in the box seat. Would love to see what all of the drivers could do in equal machinery. Its hard wto criticise any driver in a back runner team when the car is so off the pace – your only battling your team mate and trying to keep out of the way of the faster cars.

    1. Caterham are anticipating stepping up to the midfield next year. They talked up their chances at doing it this year, and it came to naught (and then applauded themselves for their efforts despite achieving none of their goals), but they can make the same progress next year as they did this year, then points are a very real possibility for them.

    2. exactly tasimana, as Team Lotus they have been getting closer to the midfield, occasionally snapping at the heels of STR, Williams, Sauber, FI and Renault.

      As Caterham they are pretty likely to be able to give Ricciardo the chance to even battle for grid positions with his fellow Red Bull compatriots at STR and in a sense fight it out with them on track.

  10. I’ve got the impression that Ricciardo usually reveals more in interviews than the other drivers. He acts more like a journalist who is used to reporting unofficial news than a driver who ‘doesn’t know anything’.

    It would be good to see him driving for Caterham alongside with Kovalainen next year but I don’t like how this is communicated to the public. If Team Lotus are planning to drop Trulli before the beginning of the season they shouldn’t act as if Jarno’s race seat was absolutely safe.

    1. @Girts He certainly seems to say more interesting things and have a more approachable personality than a lot of F1 drivers I could name.

      1. Lets just hope that doesn’t change with him climbing to the top of the grid!

      2. You mean just about everyone minus Vettel and Button…

    2. I think Team Lotus have been giving hints at the fact Trulli is not a certainty to be driving for the team from the moment they announced his renewed contract @girts

      They always reacted sayin, “yes he has a contract to drive”. Not saying confirming how exited and sure they were of having him in the car next year. And Fernandes has shown in several reactions lately, that Trulli has a seat, but its negotiable.

      1. @bascb You are right, they’ve been giving hints; however, this is what Fernandes said on November 27:

        Right now we have a contract and he will race. There is no change in our driver line-up, and we have reported to the FIA both our drivers.

        Trulli is indeed on the FIA entry list and, in my opinion, he also cannot ‘race’ in FP1 sessions :) If he’s swapped with Ricciardo in the middle of the season then it’s OK but if the change takes place already before Australia and if it has been planned for some time then Fernandes hasn’t been really true to the fans.

        1. I guess its to raise the price of the seat! But you are right in saying it does not feel too nice to put Trulli in all official documents and then “change your mind” during the winter!

        2. @Girts and @BasCB
          I guess the emphasis is on

          Right now

          in that Feranandes quote…

          1. yes, to me that sounds as “right now – before we consider and accept your offers to change this– a bit @verstappen

        3. “then Fernandes hasn’t been really true to the fans.”

          ……… BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.. Sorry i ment to say what a surprise.

    3. Borat Sagdiyev
      7th December 2011, 11:31

      but Jarno already had a seat fiiting session at caterham factory with heikki.

      1. Test/reserve drivers need seats to m8.

  11. If the switch were to happen, then Lotus / Caterham would be on par with Red Bull as a favourite team for me. I’m a fan of good driver combinations, and I think Daniel and Heikki would make an excellent one – quite aside from both being extremely likeable, they’re both very talented and I would think it’s a good way to get a bit of a fanbase behind them. The team have gained a huge amount of momentum from this year (on the back of Hekki really) and signing Daniel would only increase that, IMO.

  12. Happy Birthday Robert and see you back on the track. Faith is the best present a fan can give you.

  13. Red Bull are trying hard to fit Daniel in Team Fernandes; but why can’t they find him a place at STR? i’m sure many would agree that Buemi had a poor season and will be replaced for 2012… it’s unlikely they will put a rookie there ahead of Daniel. I feel STR is trying to hire one experienced driver who will have compete against Jaime Alguersuari to get Webber’s seat in 2013. The drivers under consideration for that would be Sutil, Glock & Petrov.

    1. i’m sure many would agree that Buemi had a poor season

      Off the top of my head, he solidly beat Alguersuari in qualifying, had the beating of him in the races over the first half of the season, and had his last few races screwed by car failures. I don’t think he had a poor season. I’d say that’s one of the harder intra-team battles to pick a winner in.

      1. I feel the STR will gain some advantage by taking in one experienced driver along one of their current pairs… this will help them develop the car better & also help to measure Buemi/Aguersuari performance against someone like Sutil/Glock. I’d like to see Jaime & Sutil pair up in STR… based on performance, one of them can replace Webber for 2013 @ RBR.

  14. Sauber had also quits FOTA

    And it seem that I was right and Toro Rosso will also quit FOTA…

    AUTOSPORT can reveal, as doubts also emerge about Scuderia Toro Rosso’s position in the body.

    In the wake of Ferrari and Red Bull Racing’s decision to withdraw from the team’s organisation last week, sources have revealed that Sauber also notified FOTA members several days ago that it too was leaving.

    A team spokeswoman confirmed on Wednesday that Sauber was no longer going to continue being a member of FOTA for reasons, ‘that have been fully explained to its members and will be kept private for now.’

    There are also fresh uncertainties about whether or not Scuderia Toro Rosso has also quit the body – with sources revealing that the Faenza-based team did not send a representative to FOTA’s meeting in London on Tuesday.

    Although Toro Rosso was unable to confirm its position when asked on Wednesday, its absence from the meeting – allied to the stance adopted by sister team Red Bull Racing – would make it unlikely that the outfit is to remain a part of the organisation.

    1. their sister team and engine supplyer.

      Also being unable to confirm a position in something like fota where they have been a member for years means 100% they have quit.

  15. Although I agree with @Fixy ‘s COTD to an extent, I find it difficult to be harsh on them, given they have only just completed their second year in Formula 1. You could criticise an established team for making the decision to suit their pockets more than the track, but when was the last time we had a true privateer enter the sport? This is a difficult formula to work with and it’s no easier off track. I’m going to give HRT the benefit of the doubt on this and support them. It’s not ideal, but it’s the best of a bad situation.

    1. Of course, @AndrewTanner . But one thing is liking their choices, one is understanding them. They are in desperate need of money: last year they went through 19 races without upgrades, this year has been better. I understand why they want drivers with sponsors: to reach the midfield; but it’s not something I like so much. And as I said, I think chosing a driver based on their nationality is worse than chosing one based on his amount of sponsorship.

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