Daniel Ricciardo will replace Narain Karthikeyan at Hispania for the British Grand Prix, according to widespread reports.
No formal announcement has yet been made about the move, but confirmation is expected later today (Thursday).
Australian driver Ricciardo, who turns 22 tomorrow, is a product of Red Bull‘s Junior Team driver development programme, and is the reserve driver for sister team Toro Rosso.
Ricciardo has been driving for the Italian squad in Friday free practice sessions during 2011, and there had been speculation that he would replace either Sebastien Buemi or Jaime Alguersuari in the team’s driver lineup.
Alguersuari in particular had been under pressure to perform but did his chances the world of good with a sterling drive to eighth place in last weekend’s European Grand Prix.
It is believed that a deal between either Red Bull or Toro Rosso and Hispania will see Ricciardo replace Indian driver Karthikeyan in the Spanish team alongside their other driver Vitantonio Liuzzi, perhaps for the rest of the season.
Ricciardo’s performance is likely to be compared by Red Bull against their former driver Liuzzi, with a view to moving him across to a seat at either Toro Rosso or Red Bull Racing for 2012.
Karthikeyan returned to Formula 1 after five seasons away at the start of 2011, courtesy of sponsorship from long-term backer Tata. Their involvement could well see Karthikeyan in a drive for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix regardless of Ricciardo’s future with the team.