HRT: No dream debut for Ricciardo

2011 British GP team review

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Daniel Ricciardo started and finished his first race in last place.

Daniel RicciardoVitantonio Liuzzi
Qualifying position2423
Qualifying time comparison (Q1)1’38.059 (+0.575)1’37.484
Race position1918
Pit stops22

HRT drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

Daniel Ricciardo133.431119.855119.529118.696119.303119.128119.363119.29118.093118.469117.99113.028136.715118.527108.743110.918109.399117.36106.59104.584108.139104.157103.643103.535105.261103.668103.125101.487123.688100.91101.316102.418101.455103.991101.78103.051101.889106.692104.063103.54102.049104.301102.514103.863108.339106.718106.006106.247106.61
Vitantonio Liuzzi131.41119.186119.494119.019119.128118.22117.816118.156117.782117.575114.12137.424109.779107.537107.034107.976107.063106.729107.824104.167105.265106.233103.498102.866104.309106.693103.112102.33103.572103.29599.117120.897101.78100.838100.74102.322101.149104.476102.86100.524103.433101.134100.647102.04100.835100.612100.755100.941101.87107.559
Daniel Ricciardo, HRT, Silverstone, 2011

Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo played down any disappointment at qualifying last on his F1 debut: “My first qualifying session was alright but it was a bit frustrating with the weather, we couldn’t do two runs so we were just limited to one but it was OK.

“I would like to be a little bit closer to the rest of the field but I can’t try to expect too much for now, it’s a big learning curve.

“I’m half a second off Tonio which isn’t much but for a racing car driver it is quite a lot, I want more but I shouldn’t really expect too much at this stage, if I can keep closing the gap then it’s OK.

“The F111 is actually quite good, with the option tyres the level of grip has surprised me, that’s one part that will come from experience; knowing how far I can push it. In high speed corners I can still race at my speed.”

Ricciardo finished the race 88 seconds behind his team mate – similar to the 95 seconds in arrears Narain Karthikeyan was at the last round.

“I was quite a bit off the other competitors but I think that, as I learn, I will get a bit closer,” he said.

“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.”

Daniel Ricciardo 2011 form guide

Vitantonio Liuzzi

Liuzzi started alongside his team mate on the last row and managed to get ahead of Jarno Trulli for one lap.

He caught Jerome d’Ambrosio in the final laps but wasn’t able to pass the Virgin before the finish.

Vitantonio Liuzzi 2011 form guide

2011 British Grand Prix

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    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...

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    56 comments on “HRT: No dream debut for Ricciardo”

    1. Can’t see Ricciardo getting a Red Bull drive soon with this kind of performance. Of course, I have no idea how difficult it is to get in a new car and match an experienced an reasonably quick team mate. At the same time, if any of the hype surrounding him were justified (wasn’t he asked on the BBC when he would win his first WDC?), you would expect him to do much better.

      Another, slightly off-topic thing that puzzles me: why do only the front runners go for three stops, with the mid and back going for two?

      1. I think this is exactly what they wanted from him being in that car: bring it home, learn to work with the F1 team, getting experience with a 300km long race distance and staying out of trouble.

        Realistically they couldn’t have expected him to be a second faster than Liuzzi on his first outing. But now they see he isn’t doing silly things, so putting him in the RB8 and do a full weekend won’t be such a big unknown, if they wanted to try it.

      2. The tyres issue will be down to the fact that the cars at the front use more tyres during qualifying, thus not having as many for the race.

    2. 88 seconds over a race does sound quite considerable – I hope he can close the gap.

      1. Interestingly it was close until the first pit stop. If you consider his comment about the blue flags, that could probably explain that. He was close until people started lapping him.

      2. I’m kinda pleased with his result, I’d have liked the gap to be closer, but you can see he does have the potential to match Liuzzi. And Liuzzi has got a few seasons under his belt.

    3. XbarretmateX
      11th July 2011, 9:47

      Imagine Ricciardo this weekend: He thinks he’s on top of the world, about to join 23 of the world’s best drivers on a Formula One grid; he’s pretty upbeat about driving the F111, then he actually drives it….

      1. Well, and that could be part of why they put him there, to see how a back-end-of-the-grid car is.

        I found it interesting that he thought he had a pretty okay level of grip in the F111. That would indicate the car is mechanically a lot better than last year, but still lacks in aero, as one would expect.

    4. i wish I could debut and finish last in a F1 race.

      well done Daniel, you will be sure to go far

      1. Awesome achievement, and agree totally with your comment. he didn’t bin it, he didn’t collect a front-runner – and he talked to the press about it.

        To really squeeze this out though, he did finishlast, where a lot of others in the same position didn’t finish. That will have been noticed by maybe not the top end of the grid, but am sure Renault and Sauber for sure value new-comers that can finish races.

        Sorry Daniel, I’ve just jinxed you to put it in the wall next race…

        1. Alguersuari, who is constantly trashed “as mediocre” finished his first race in Formula One ahead of his teammate Buemi… Ricciardo was on his debut one lap down to his teammate… Even Karthikeyan, who had a 6 year break was doing better in his first race for HRT…
          Describing this debut as an “awesome achievement” is something I can t really understand…

          1. I agree with Marco here. When compared to Alguersuari this was not an awesome achievement by Ricciardo unfortunately.

          2. +1
            Reality filter: check.

    5. Riccardo having to constantly go of line for cars lapping him & trying to loose as little time as possible is a skill Luizzi has probably perfected at this stage. Say in the next couple race Riccardo will improve a lot.

      The graphs of comparing team mates are really good but would it be possible to have nearly opposite colours instead of nearly same?

      1. A lot less squinting now. Cheers Keith.

    6. Now Red Bull will consider Liuzzi again and bring him in to substitute the under-performing Vettel!

      1. LOL, nice interpretation!

    7. Ricciardo should have held up Vettel ;)

      He makes a valid point about the blue flags though. Hard to get any kind of rhythm going when you’re constantly jumping off the racing line.

    8. What were people expecting? Points? It’s his first ever GP, he’s in the slowest car but got it home, well done I say. Watch out for gains in the next race. Well done Daniel.

      1. Agree. Got to the finish without any accidents or bloopers. Good job.

        1. That’s about all you can realistically ask for to be honest in your first race, congratulations to Daniel I say!

      2. Yep, it was a solid performance, we couldn’t have expected more from him. It’s now up to him to improve.

      3. I’m with you. Difficult conditions for qualy and the first half of the race and he brought it home in one piece. Not a brilliant debut but a solid one.

      4. (conveniently overlooking the fact a lot of cars were taken out in an accident)

        Webber got points on his debut :P

    9. Its only his first race. Give him a couple of more weekends before trashing him.

    10. I think Ricciardo did a good job. How is he supposed to match Liuzzi when he has no F1 race experience and got barely any dry running to prepare for the race? With more experience he will eventually match Liuzzi. Were people expecting miracles from him?

      He kept his nose out of trouble and finished the race, exactly what you want from an F1 debut.

      1. they werent expecting miracles, but they also werent expecting 88 seconds down on his teammate.
        he will close the gap to liuzzi with A LOT OF HELP from redbull telling HRT to support ricciardo more then Liuzzi.
        Money is what has got ricciardo this far, and now this was an opportunity for him to display his talent, but he didnt show much, it is probably the worst rookie first race performance in the last 20 years in f1 to be that much slower then his teammate, and dont use inexperience as an excuse, look to algesuari and other drivers thrown into f1 without experience to see ricciardos result was very dissapointing.

    11. Ricciardo did well on his first race. at least his friday pace was quite impressive. but experience of Liuzzi have gone nowhere. Time is enought. We will see Ricciardo is real deal or another typical Toro Rosso driver.

    12. It doesn’t really matter where he ended up yesterday, the important thing is where he will end up at the end of the year – in a Red Bull car. Following the logic of recent events:
      1. Ricciardo suddenly gets a seat in a F1 car
      2. Mark Webber blatantly disobeys team orders and then brags about it in front of the media (making his bosses look ridiculous).
      one can deduct that RBR already took the decision to oust Webber so Mark acts like he’s got nothing to lose.

      1. Well that sounds a bit dramatic to me, but if Webber knows he’s losing his RBR seat, he’d be happy its to another Aussie.

      2. Yeah.. I’m pretty sure that this rocky relationship between Webber and the Red Bull team cannot last much longer. Its questionable whether Webber will want to join Ferrari though. That just seems like Alonso’s turf to me.

        1. What’s all this thing about Webber going to Ferrari? Why in the world would Ferrari want to switch the perfect No 2 Massa with a rebel like Webber.

          1. webber is still a top class driver, and if you below the theories, it is only driving with the blown diffuser that is losing him time in this phase of his career. look at last season, he was as quick as vettel, then look at this last race with blown diffuser restricted, again as quick as vettel.

    13. As I see many excuses are prepared for Mr. Ricciardo… But to be honest very mediocre debut for such an
      over-hyped guy and the future Champion… After this maybe some people will come back down to Earth again…

      1. I was beginning to wonder whether and I (and Ben N) were the only ones to be a little disappointed.

        Also, I don’t agree with some of the “in your first race you only need to finish” comments. Yes, this is important, but what I was hoping to see was speed.

        1. I wasn’t disappointed mainly because I didn’t expect him to fly.

          1. and by the way, I don’t think we can say after this race whether he is a good F1 driver or not. We can say he isn’t very prone to making stupid mistakes, but of course, he didn’t yet have a big amount of pressure on him to perform miracles.

            1. there are so many great drivers in the world never given an opportunity in an f1 car, why should this guy be given races to take his time, just finish, not make mistakes… etc. he needs to show straight away that he can drive quick, otherwise give someone else a go.

    14. It defies all logic that Ricciardo is somehow in the lineup moreso than Buemi or Alguesuari for the Red Bull #2 seat. Or even someone outside the Red Bull system like Massa and such.

      Yet everyone on here seems to be propagating the fact that he’s a shoe-in for the Red Bull seat, the WDC and domination over F1. What’s wrong with you people?

      Why is there so much hype over Ricciardo? Perhaps an article can be written on this subject on F1fanatic so I understand what the bloody deal is?

      1. Ricciardo won’t be getting a seat at Red Bull any time soon. Horner made that pretty clear in recent interviews. They’ve managed to get him a seat in a HRT car so that they don’t have to take one away from Alguesuari who seems to be back on form.

        I think he will be at HRT for the rest of the year, and if he performs well, he might get a seat in a Toro Rosso. Horner would never put a driver with so little experience in his top cars. The whole HRT/Torro Rosso experience is to develop the drivers so that they are world class drivers before they step into two best cars on the grid.

        It’s a tough call on his performance. He certainly wasn’t as fast as I’d hoped he would be. That said, he really isn’t used to the car, or an F1 race. It seemed in his post-race interview that he was very well aware of how slow he was, and hopefully that determination will push him to get on Luizzi’s gearbox over the next few rounds.

        I’m on side of praise for finishing the race. People are bagging him for being slow, but I personally feel that he was focussing on learning as much as he can and not doing anything stupid. This opens up a whole debate on risk-taking/stupidity/exciting vs patience/maturity/boring – but I’m sure we all understand that.

    15. If Vettel didn’t go to Red Bull in 2008, why would Ricciardo go to Red Bull in 2012?

      They didn’t risk putting Vettel in a top car early, so they won’t with Ricciardo. The last thing Red Bull wants is to risk having a mediocre driver costing them valuable constructor points in 2012, especially if Ferrari and McLaren deliver strong cars. I don’t see Red Bull repeating the same mistake that McLaren made in 2008 with Kovalainen.

      1. Agreed whole-heartedly. They have Toro Rosso (and seemingly now HRT) to develop their drivers first to keep the best possible drivers in their best cars.

    16. A dream debut for Webber, yes; a dream debut for Salo/Toyota, yes; a dream debut for Räikkönen, yes; a dream debut for JJ Lehto/Sauber, yes… Ricciardo made it as a good driver should. It was not there to score points with this car.

    17. They hype surrounding Ricciardo was ridiculous. Everyone expected him be fighting for points for some reason like the drivers in the back are horrible and are only back there because they can’t drive. They forget that he was only fast because he was driving the RB6 at the post season testing last year. Anyone would have been fast with that car. Put Vettel or Alonso in an HRT and they’re going to be in back as well.

      1. They hype surrounding Ricciardo was ridiculous. Everyone expected him be fighting for points for some reason

        No they weren’t.

        As usual, it’s not the hype that’s the problem, it’s the over-reaction to the perception of hype.

        1. what does that mean?

          1. There isn’t very much hype. But there’s a load of people saying “there’s so much hype it’s ridiculous!”

            1. no, there is a lot of hype. that’s the truth. if people are talking about it, that’s what hype is…

    18. Ricciardo need to finish the race & collect more data that will help him.

    19. All he needed to do was keep it on the track, make no silly mistakes and bring the car home. That is exactly what he did

    20. Say what you like but I want to say well done to him. He didn’t crash it, there wasn’t any huge moments, he didn’t slow anyone up lapping them. He had a slow, but unspectacular drive on a track which is difficult to get a set up on. You can’t say he’s a slow driver, even Liuzzi struggles to get it going fast. Let him mature, get the F1 basics right, then say whether or not he’s slow.

    21. I think he did well considering he barely got to know the car well enough on a mostly wet track which was hard for the drivers and teams to set up. He got out of the way when he had to and in practice he was managing lap times up there with Liuzzi. Mind you, Liuzzi has been driving that car all year unlike Daniel. I say give him time, the speed will come with confidence.

    22. Yes, there is, and a lot… He was seen as a future champion even without completing a single lap in Formula One race! And all because Red Bull said something and Ricciardo set a fastest time in a non important test on a good rubbered track and in a “Red Bull rocket”… Time will tell, if he is really that good… He has to prove the claims…

    23. There’s alot of talk about Ricciardo and how good he is/will be.

      But just a thought maybe Liuzzi is better than most people give him credit for. He is after all a Red Bull reject so to blow away one of Red Bulls hotshoe youngsters must give him some satisfaction.

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