Once again HRT has chosen the British GP for a shake-up of its driver line-up with Red Bull Racing third driver Daniel Ricciardo drafted in from his Toro Rosso test role to replace Narain Karthikeyan.
The Indian is still a team driver, and is expected to at least drive in his home Grand Prix in October.
Last year Sakon Yamamoto became an HRT driver at Silverstone, replacing Bruno Senna and later Karun Chandhok.
The HRT drive will be a perfect opportunity for Ricciardo to showcase his talents after he ran eight Friday morning sessions for STR this year. He had been tipped to replace Jaime Alguersuari or Sebastian Buemi, but clearly Red Bull has decided to spend some extra funds on HRT instead.
It’s also a boost for HRT, whose car has been quicker than the Virgin in some recent races.
A team statement said: “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 driver. 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”.
Team chairman Carabante said: “This agreement is a reward for all the hard work Hispania Racing has shown since we started in Formula 1 last year. We’re proud that the Formula 1 World Champion team has trusted us in their effort of developing their drivers. Let’s hope that this is just the start of a fruitful relationship.”
Ricciardo added: “It’s a dream come true for me – for the first time on an F1 starting grid! I had to pinch myself a couple of times to be sure that it’s real. I’m excited and can hardly wait to drive at Silverstone. It’s a new challenge, a new experience, a new team, but I’m ready and will give of my best in any event.”