Daniel Ricciardo guided his Hispania through an eventful British Grand Prix to finish his first ever F1 race, albeit in P19, and last of the finishers.
The Australian rookie, who is tipped by many as one of the stars of the future, had a lot to learn for his first race, and has identified a few areas where he hopes to improve for next time.
“I feel quite good to finish and see the checkered flag,” he said. “It was nice to get the laps, which I think was the most important thing for me today for experience. Understanding the tyres, the pit stops and the strategy, it's really very complex and something I've never really done before, so in this respect I think it was a step forward.
“I was quite a bit off the other competitors but I think that, as I learn, I will get a bit closer. I also need to try and manage the blue flags a bit better, it's not easy. At the end, looking at it now, I'm quite pleased with the result. Wednesday was a big introduction to Formula 1, meeting the team and making the seat, it was never going to be easy or perfect but to finish the race is a good result for us.
“My expectations for the next race are to learn and move forward, to be a bit closer to Tonio in qualifying and to try and close the gap in the race, I think that is a good target for now.”
Hispania team principal Colin Kolles said that Ricciardo needed to learn how to manage his tyres, but sounded reasonably impressed by the performance of his latest driver. He also concedes that the team were never going to be particularly competitive here at Silverstone.
“Daniel was struggling a little bit with the rear tyres towards the end and therefore lost a little bit of ground on Tonio and the others,” explained Kolles. “But, all in all, it was quite positive with no major dramas. Daniel did his laps and finished the race, his quickest lap time was quite a good one and the problem was that he was struggling with the tyres. He has to get used to the tyres obviously, this isn't too easy when you've started just one race with new tyres and the others have already thousands of kilometres under their belts.
“This circuit was definitely not good for our car, there were difficult weather conditions, then there was the exhaust discussion which was not in our favour because we have a little bit of a different exhaust, so, all in all, this did not help but, in the end, it was positive because the team worked well and that is important.”
Vitantonio Liuzzi finished ahead of his new team-mate, but could not climb any higher up the field.
“It was a difficult race, but we knew this since Friday as we've had a lot of problems,” commented the Italian. “It was a tricky one from the beginning because of the tyres. Tyre choice wasn't easy, we went with intermediates because the track was wet at the beginning but this made everything more interesting”
“We had a good start with good pace, we were able to catch and fight our nearest rival which is what we wanted to achieve in this race because we knew we didn't have the pace to beat them. But we competed until the last lap and now we have to work hard for the Nurburgring.”