Like last season, Hispania Racing have made their first driver change of the season for the British Grand Prix but, unlike 2010, they have brought in a talented young driver, rather than Sakon Yamamoto. Intead, Daniel Ricciardo will drive for the team at Silverstone, and he is looking forward to the experience.
“I'm very happy to have my first Formula 1 race coming up in Silverstone,” he said. “It means a lot to me. I'm sure, as many of us here, we dream it as kids but don't really believe that one day it will actually happen! It will be a very special moment for me, perhaps a little emotional too”.
“I am very happy with the deal. I didn't think I would be racing an F1 car this season so for Red Bull to have found me a seat is awesome and I'm grateful to have this opportunity and the support from both teams. Hopefully it won't take me too long to adapt to the car, in the past I think I've adapted well to new environments and cars so I'm confident that by the end of the weekend I will have made strong progress from the start”.
“My aim is to finish as many races as I can and get the experience under my belt. I think this is most important for me as a young driver, experience is priceless. Of course, I would also love to bring the car and the team further up the grid and have some successful races. For the Silverstone weekend I think my first aim is to finish, physically and mentally this will be a good reward and all part of the learning process”.
“I've been following Hispania's progress this year but it's hard to really know how a team is going unless you are involved and know the inside and outs. But I am sure they have improved since their debut season last year and this improvement seems like it's going in the right direction. I think they are doing as well as they could be. I don't recall any team coming into F1 and proving to be dominant immediately, it takes time.
“I've met Tonio a few times and I think I can learn a lot from him as he is very experienced in F1, he's a cool guy. I've never met so Narain so I can't say much about him but I'm sure he's a cool guy too”.
However, Kolles concedes that the team are badly equipped to give Ricciardo much of a fighting chance in his first Formula 1 race: “Silverstone is one of the classics; it is a circuit where you need a very efficient car and where downforce is crucial. We hope to have a reasonable weekend in terms of performance, even though we are lacking a lot of downforce.”
Ricciardo’s team-mate for the weekend, Tonio Liuzzi, is looking forward to coming to Britain again, but also anticipates a tricky race for the team.
“The passion for motorsport in Britain is huge and really impressive,” said the Italian. “Last year, after an issue in qualifying, we went from last position to 11th place after a strong race at a track where usually it is not easy to overtake, so that's a great memory of this race”.
“Silverstone is a great technical circuit that gives a lot of adrenaline to the drivers; I love the first sector which is made up of high speed corners. You really sense something special when racing here because the passion and heart of the British crowd is huge”.
“It will be a difficult race because of the nature of the circuit but we're progressing with every race and that is important”.