JUNE 30, 2011
HRT lines up Ricciardo
Toro Rosso reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo, a member of the Red Bull driver programme, is expected to replace Narain Karthikeyan at HRT for the British Grand Prix.
Although there has not as yet been any official statement from the Spanish team, Ricciardo, 21, from Perth, Australia, has been quoted in the Australian Herald Sun newspaper: "It's pretty, pretty exciting. To make the first one at Silverstone, it's great. It's a circuit I know well and it's just up the road from my second home in Britain."
It has been repeatedly rumoured that Ricciardo -- who drives in Friday first practices for Toro Rosso, alternately replacing Sebastian Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari - would step in for much of the second half of the season, probably in place of Alguersuari, ahead of a full year in 2012. The Spaniard, however, finished in the at both Montreal and Valencia.
HRT, meanwhile, has been operating on a limited budget and it is likely that some Red Bull cash to blood Ricciardo has been viewed as expedient for both parties.
The senior Red Bull team was impressed with Ricciardo when he tested at Abu Dhabi last year and Toro Rosso has also been pleased with his Friday showings. Further assessment of his capabilities will be provided alongside Tonio Liuzzi. Whatever happens at HRT for the rest of the season, it is understood that Karthikeyan will be back in the car for the inaugural Indian GP on October 30.