Tag Archives: reserve driver

Klien given Superlicence 10 minutes before practice

Christian Klien almost didn't make it to Friday Practice 1

Christian Klien almost didn't make it to Friday Practice 1

It turned out today that HRT test and reserve driver Christian Klien was only granted his Superlicence 10 minutes before the start of Friday Practice 1.

The Austrian driver was being offered to drive in FP1 as part of being the team’s second reserve driver, alongside Sakon Yamamoto. However, his debut drive for the team nearly didn’t happen at all, as Christian explains:

"It was a bit exciting today as I got my Superlicense only ten 
minutes before the start of the first practice session! 
Fortunately, everything had been prepared perfectly and then I was 
allowed to jump into the car.

I had 90 great minutes in the car. It was my first time in a Formula 
1 car since January last year and felt perfect right away; I was 
able to feel the limits of the car and posted constant times, which 
will help the engineers - I was able to give them important feedback 
to improve, in terms of setup, and my work with top teams will help 
them."

I’m glad that Klien is being given a chance to drive in F1 again, but he still needs a good car to be able to prove himself. However, the fact that he beat Bruno Senna by an entire half a second in only 90 minutes of practice shows what potential he has.

The problem is the testing ban. With this, test and reserve drivers, especially young drivers, will be unable to get attention for themselves and therefore struggle to get race drive positions. One idea I had would be a “reserve driver test”, once or twice a year, where the test and reserve drivers would test and develop the car. This would help the teams with their development, and also give a chance for reserve drivers to show what they are worth. I’ll write more on this idea after this weekend.

Ricciardo and Hartley are Red Bull reserves

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull has announced that their 2010 reserve drivers to be Daniel Ricciardo and Brendon Hartley. Both of these drivers are already in the Red Bull junior team.

Brendon Hartley

Brendon Hartley

It is also understood that the two drivers will alternate reserve driver duties on a race-by-race basis.

Ricciardo impressed last year in the young driver test in December, while Hartley was reserve driver for both Red Bull and Toro Rosso last year.

When asked about this, Ricciardo said:

“It’s very exciting. It was an email I was hoping for since the test in December, but I wasn’t sure whether it would come at all. So, a big relief, but also very satisfying.”

“This will be a very good introduction to F1 – even though I won’t be driving the car, just to sit in on the briefings and do what the drivers do on a weekend is a good way to start learning. It’s all exciting and I’ll be busy, even though I’m not driving.”

At the moment, Australian Ricciardo is the reigning British Formula Three champion. In 200, he raced in the Italian Formula Renault series, and in 2008 won the Formula Renault West European cup, with 8 wins. Last year, he won the British F3 series with 2 races to spare. I’m expecting him to be in Formula 1 in the next few years, as his racing history shows he has a huge amount of talent.

Here’s a great overtake in the British F3 championship from Ricciardo:

And a burnout as well :)

Kiwi Brendon Hartley started in 2006 in Formula Renault 2.0. In 2007 he won the Eurocup title, and in 2008 raced in British F3 just like Ricciardo. Here, he finised 3rd, behind Jaime Alguersuari and Oliver Turvey. In 2009, he competed in the Formula 3 Euroseries. I don’t know as much about him, but he clearly deserves the opportunity to be in the Red Bull junior team.

Here’s a video I found about him when he competed in the famous F3 Macau Grand Prix:

As always, I love to see the new guys get a chance in Formula1. Both have lots of talent, and deserve this opportunity. Hopefully we can see them racing in F1 in a few years time.

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