Kolles: Ricciardo “one of the greatest talents in motorsport”

2011 British Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso, Sepang, 2011

HRT team principal Colin Kolles lavished praise on his new driver Daniel Ricciardo, calling him “one of the greatest talents in motorsport”.

Ricciardo will make his F1 race debut for the team this weekend, taking the place of Narain Karthikeyan.

Kolles said: “I am very proud and happy to conclude the deal with Red Bull Racing and to welcome Daniel to our team.

“He is one of the greatest talents in motorsport and we hope to give him a lot of mileage in order to prepare him for the future.”

Ricciardo said he aims to finish as many races as possible for HRT: “I’m very happy to have my first Formula 1 race coming up in Silverstone.

“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 [Vitantonio Liuzzi] 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.

“As for Britain, I love London, I think it’s one of the best cities in the world, there is so much to do, so many cultures and great places to go. I love the circuit because of the high speed nature. I love high speed corners and at Silverstone they all flow very well and you can pick up a great rhythm. The Maggots-Becketts section is my favourite.

“I had probably my best ever race on this circuit back in June 2008. I was racing Formula Renault Eurocup and I won the race on the last lap with a few corners to go. We were far from the quickest all weekend but pulled something out of the bag in the last race and it was a big underdog performance.”

2011 British Grand Prix

    Browse all 2011 British Grand Prix articles

    Image © Red Bull/Getty images

    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    55 comments on “Kolles: Ricciardo “one of the greatest talents in motorsport””

    1. I wonder, how much Red Bull paid to HRT to get a seat for Ricciardo, because Narain paid for his seat at the team.

      1. If it’s just for money I wonder why they didn’t keep Narain and Daniel, as I think Liuzzi brings less sponsorship than Karthikeyan.

        1. I think the deal with Narain allowed for HRT finding someone quicker if they came with money during the year.

          And they need Liuzzi to do the competative driving and good feedback to have a chance at improving long term, I guess.
          Now Ricciardo will add to that if they’re lucky.

        2. Liuzzi made them finish ahead of Virgin, and if ever another chaotic race occurs, Liuzzi seems like the a more likely candidate than Narain to beat the Lotus team.

          1. Fine, good on them that they chose performance/experience rather than money, for once.

    2. This has to be one of the best moves the team have made yet – now they’ve got a least a half serious line up of drivers. Although I know a lot don’t read into the hype that arose after the Young Driver’s test.

      Silverstone is quite a first race though. It’ll be very interesting to see how he matches up to Liuzzi and also whether this move with draw in any sponsors to the team.

    3. I hope he stays connected with Red Bull/Torro Rosso and this is just to get seat time. Such a waste of talent if he were to be stuck in HRT or face the faith of Bruno Senna or Chandhok because of a car you can’t even have a chance of proving yourself in.. Lets hope he blows Liuzzi away!

      1. As its Red Bull paying HRT for him to get the drive, I don’t think this brings that relationship to risk, rather the opposite actually.

        Will be interesting to see how he feels about the car, haven driven both the best car in the field and the STR recently.

        1. Yeah, when is the last time someone got to drive the best and worst car in the field all within less than 12 months?

          1. Probably Damon Hill when he went from the ’96 Williams into the ’97 Arrows…

            1. …actually a better comparison would be Eddie Irvine going from the ’99 Ferrari into the ’00 Jaguar!

    4. Liuzzi can’t win from this situation. He needs to make sure Daniel doesn’t even get close to his quali times.

      1. If Ricciardo was just close to Liuzzi, it wouldn’t be much considering Ricciardo is “one of the greatest talents in motorsport” and Liuzzi is an average driver.

    5. The funding coming from Narain was probably keeping the HRT team alive this season, so I guess Red Bull must have offered a significant amount of money for them to just drop Narain mid season.

      Just goes to show that even pay drivers have to actually earn their spot on the grid these days.

    6. Ricciardo is the most overhyped driver of his generation.

      1. Yeah, I saw him driving last weekend in Formula Renault – or rather, didn’t. Jean-Eric Vergne is also a Red Bull driver but happens to be doing a lot better in the same series. Get him a seat at HRT!

        1. You’re obviously a close followers of WSR??

          The ISR is a shed, and Carlin have been far better cars. Can you name JEV’s team mate? When you find that out (and check the table) you’ll have everything you need.

          By the way, Dietrich Matesich has just sacked Helmut Marko and the entire talent spotting and development network at RBR. Apparently he’s been informed there were 2 undiscovered geniuses operating freelance on an unspecified website.


          1. Looking good compared to Berthon is not exactly the most challenging task in the world of motorsport.

            I do follow WSR and Ricciardo has been consistently outclassed by Vergne, Wickens, Korjus, and even Rossi on occasion.

            Ricciardo is a good driver, but he is overhyped.

            1. I think alot of that is the ISR car this season which seems to be either fast or… nowere really.

          2. John Cousins
            6th July 2011, 16:11

            Jim = Perfect response.

          3. JEV’s teammate is Robert Wickens who also happens to be doing very well. Daniel has managed to win in the ISR car this year. They might be a shed but the cars are all fairly similar. JEV and Wickens might be lucky enough to drive for Carlin but I’ve seen DR do well in the ISR car and do badly.

      2. yes he is overhyped, his whole career has been as a result of “money” – as a child he was racing gokarts in my home town of Perth Western Australia, but he always had the best go kart, and this continued in every junior series, he didnt do it by talent, there were other kids as talent or more talented but didnt have teh financial backing. his dad payed his way overseas, and he already had sponsorship money form companies because he won junior series with the best equipment. But i guess that is how it it is f1 these days, joining HRT could be a fatal mistake though, and his first real challenge in racing, he could do worse then Senna last year, but with his money and redbulls backing, he will be given the better car and more attention from the team then liuzzi and will climbing his way to the top again.. another priviledge class driver like hamilton.

        1. What’s with the tall poppy syndrome in this country. Everytime someone “makes it” a bunch of people come out of the woodwork weilding axes and flame throwers…. Sure, have an oppinion but do you really think that you can frame a person for making a success if his life. From what I have seen over the past 20 years is that the best attract the best equipment and funding, and by the best I mean the drivers who are more complete, they are hard working, socially intelligent, fast, consistent and create good luck for themselves (their parents are usually the same too). If people like Ricciardo sat around moaning about others having better equipment then it might be safe to say that he’d be a “have not” too, no matter how many sacrifices his parents, friends, or team mates make for him.

    7. Tom, Dick & Harry
      6th July 2011, 10:59

      I wonder how short the odds are on Karthikeyan returning for the Indian GP?

      1. They’ve already said he will, so pretty short I’d say!

    8. As an Australian I am as excited as anybody to see Ricciardo in an F1 seat, but I am really getting sick and tired of reading all this praise being heaped on him – the man hasn’t turned a wheel in anger in an F1 race and he’s already ‘one of the greatest talents’? Please! Let the man prove himself and then the praise will come naturally and be deserved.

      1. Well, Kolles would and kinda has to say that doesn’t he?

        Anyway, if you are cringing now, just wait to you hear our dear commentators rant about it. It’s going to be terrible!

        1. Brundle and DC are too busy lavishing praise on Paul Di Resta.

          1. I think he’s talking about Rusty and the other fella who do the lead in to the grand prix coverage in Australia before we get the BBC commentary.

            They’re actually more cringe worthy than Brundle and DC are with Di Resta. Apparently Webber’s new first name is “Australia’s Mark”, and look for the same with Ricciardo next race. Not in James Allen’s league yet though.

        2. Oh **** I had forgotten about those *******.

          On another forum I visit whenever Mark Webber is referenced by anyone they use the acronym “AMW”, short for ‘Australia’s Mark Webber’, because as mentioned, apparently that’s his full name!

        3. He does need some PR friendly speak, but that is rather over the top.

    9. McLarenFanJamm
      6th July 2011, 12:06

      So, Red Bull now fund two and a half teams on the grid…

    10. So two Australians on the grid. As an Aussie im thrilled about that! When was the last time that happened?
      Lets hope he proves himself, most importantly in consistency. Yet I think a grid full of Aussies still wouldnt be enough to keep the Aussie GP in Melbourne for too much longer..

      1. So two Australians on the grid. As an Aussie im thrilled about that! When was the last time that happened?

        Was brought up in the earlier news story about Ricciardo coming in, and I think it was the 1977 Austrian GP. Also Alan Jones’ first win.

      2. Jack Flash - Brisbane
        7th July 2011, 10:53

        Alan Jones and Vern Schuppen I think in 1977. Jack Flash.

    11. Yes he is a good talent but in a least talented team.I hope he finises as many races as possible so that he can get some good mileage under him.

      1. least talented team

        Ignoring that they have significantly less budget to work with?

        1. Maybe he did ignore budget, as hey, they’re doing slightly better than Virgin. Beyond them, Wasif’s right.

          1. As I understand it the next team is Lotus, have last year had about double the budget.

    12. This is a wonderfully sly move from Red Bull. By waving money in the faces of a vulnerable team like HRT, they have managed to give who is potentially one of their drivers some F1 race experience without Toro Rosso doing the usual mid-season drop. Very clever.

      1. I thought so as well. All credit to them for dreaming up this scheme.

        1. Also, the bench mark with Luizi.

          They know how vettal went against him, so they can make a healthy comparison.

    13. It’s going to be hard to impress anyone in a HRT.

    14. Why? Look at Alonso/Webber in the Minardis.

      1. Motor_mad (@)
        6th July 2011, 19:50

        agreed! I believe the HRT this year has alot of potential, obviously its not going to be winning races but with a good driver it could be fighting with Lotus, hopefully Ricciardo can show its potential.

      2. True words Dan, but also look at the highly rated Dutchman Jos Vercrashen.

    15. I like Ricciardo. He is positive, good looking and smiles a lot. He doesn’t talk bs, his answers to the media questions are actually interesting to read / hear. It’s much too soon to declare him a future world champion and he has to prove himself yet. But the signs are good.

      I don’t think it’s necessarily bad to start a career with a backmarker team. Alonso drove a Minardi in his first year. The engineers will see Ricciardo’s true potential anyway, no matter how bad the car is. What I don’t like is that he will need to spend a lot of time letting the other cars lap him, which is something he probably isn’t used to. I have recently started to think that the idea of getting rid of the blue flags is actually not that stupid.

      1. Maybe the slow teams should have Bluetooth DRS activation built into their tail-light.

      2. Without blue flags, teams like HRT would deliberately hold up lapping cars so they could get time on camera, thus pleasing their sponsors.

        The only time HRT gets on camera during a race is when they hold up lapping cars.

      3. “He is positive, good looking and smiles a lot.” much like hamilton when he started f1, and dont forget it is easy to be that way when you always have the best car and always have a chance of winning. dont be fooled by this, lets see his demeanor when things are not going well.

    16. Ricciardo is really fast. If he goes to RBR next year, as some insiders are guessing, expect him to keep Vettel honest all season.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        7th July 2011, 1:49

        Ricciardo is a completely unproven quantity. He might have the speed right now, but there’s no telling how he’ll do until he actualy starts racing. For all we know, he could do what Romain Grosjean did and be a highly-rated driver who spends most of his time spinning around. Any suggestion that Red Bull already have him lined up for a seat at Red Bull Racing in 2012 is premature.

    17. The New Pope
      7th July 2011, 1:06

      You know, I’ve never drank a Red Bull, and I never will. That said, I still like Seb, but I wish he raced for Mercedes.

    18. Prisoner Monkeys
      7th July 2011, 1:36

      Is this the same Colin Kolles who said that Narain Karthikeyan could still cut it in Formula 1?

      1. There’s lies, and then there’s ‘lies’. It’s hardly endearing to slag off a pay driver you’ve just hired (or been paid to hire), doesn’t do anything for team morale. Sometimes you have to lie to keep the peace.

    Comments are closed.