Ricciardo is expected to alternate drives with Liuzzi and Karthikeyan
Daniel Ricciardo, former test driver for Toro Rosso, has been confirmed as a race driver for HRT, starting from the British Grand Prix.
Oddly enough, the team statement did not explain which of their drivers would be replaced, suggesting that their 3 drivers may shuffle positions for the rest of the year.
The deal was made between Hispania and Dr. Helmut Marko, a senior figure in Red Bull Racing. This will further fuel rumours that Ricciardo has been hand-picked to race for Red Bull in several years.
The statement from the team reads as follows:
"Hispania Racing and Red Bull Racing signed a collaboration deal today which allows
young Australian talent Daniel Ricciardo to join the Spanish team as its official
The current Formula 1 World Champion team has shown trust in Hispania Racing’s
project and has chosen José Ramón Carabante’s team as a support for the formation
and development of its driver.
Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo, who was behind the steering-wheel in every first
practice session of the eight grand prix up to now, will finally see his dream come
true and become a Formula 1 race-driver starting from next week’s British Grand Prix.
Daniel Ricciardo joins Narain Karthikeyan and Vitantonio Liuzzi as official drivers
of the Spanish Formula 1 team, Hispania Racing."
This is practically a repeat of what happened last year with Hispania, where Sakon Yamamoto replaced Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok from the British GP onwards.
While it has not been yet confirmed, it is expected that Narain Karthikeyan will make way for Ricciardo, considering teammate Vitantonio Liuzzi’s domination over him this year. However, if this is the case, it is almost certain that Karthikeyan will still race at the inaugural Indian Grand Prix.
Ricciardo has test driven with Toro Rosso at every first practice session so far this year. He was poised to replace either Sebastien Buemi or Jaime Alguersuari. However, in recent races, the two have improved and are currently level on points. The fact that Ricciardo has been shipped off to HRT indicates that Toro Rosso is still pleased with the performance of their drivers.