Motorsports Mondial

Ricciardo graduates to F1

Daniel Ricciardo will make his F1 racing debut at Silverstone next week, following an announcement that the young Australian will join the Hispania Racing Team for the remainder of the 2011 season. Ricciardo, who will also continue with his race programme in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, will compete in all the remaining rounds of the 2011 F1 Championship, with the exception of the Indian Grand Prix in October.

Daniel, who turned 22 on Friday, was given possibly the most exciting birthday present for any racing driver, with the news that he will get his first chance in a full F1 event at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone next week.

Despite impressing Red Bull bosses with his Friday performances in the Toro Rosso F1 car, Daniel will actually make his F1 racing debut in the HRT car, as part of his continued development as a Red Bull Junior driver. Daniel has competed in all first Friday practice sessions of the season so far, often outpacing his more experienced team mates Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari.

Still in the early stages of his career, Daniel will combine his new race seat role at HRT with his existing race programme in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, as did fellow Red Bull driver Jaime Alguersuari earlier in his career.

Daniel, who is currently fourth in the FR3.5 standings, is racing in Hungary this weekend with the ISR team. With only one clash in the F1 and FR3.5 calendars, Daniel will continue to alternate between the two championships, gaining as much experience as possible.

Speaking about his new opportunity, Daniel said, “It is just a dream come true to be given the opportunity to race in F1. I’m so excited I can hardly wait until the first race at Silverstone next week. Thankfully Silverstone is a track I know really well, and other than Australia, it’s probably the next best thing to a home race for me, so that will make it a slightly easier experience.

“People have been asking me if racing in two different championships is going to be too much, but to be honest, as a young driver you just want as much experience as possible. Personally I think that racing in two different championships is awesome! I’m just so grateful for the opportunities that I’m getting.

“It will be a steep learning curve working with a new team and racing a car that I’ve no previous experience of but I’m determined to do my best. Even though I’m a young driver I really want to try and help the team and develop the car. Hopefully my experience in the Friday sessions with Toro Rosso will help with that.”