Daniel Ricciardo has confirmed that he will join Hispania Racing from the British Grand Prix onwards after reports emerged suggesting that the young Australian was to replace Narain Karthikeyan at Silverstone.
Australian media revealed the Toro Rosso reserve driver was set to make his move into an F1 race seat with the Spanish team after earlier speculation had suggested he could replace either Jaime Alguersuari or Sebastien Buemi in a Toro Rosso drive on the back of his impressive performances in Friday practice.
Although Hispania has so far refused to confirm the story, Ricciardo himself has spoken about the deal by revealing his delight at the unexpected opportunity to move into a race seat.
“It's pretty, pretty exciting,” he told the Herald Sun
. “It's awesome, just awesome.
“To make my first appearance at Silverstone it great. It's a circuit I know well and it's just up the road from my second home in Britain.”
Red Bull's decision to put together a deal that will see Ricciardo move into a race seat is only set to increase speculation about his future, with suggestions that the move has come about through a desire to give the youngster – who turns 22 tomorrow [Friday] – early experience of racing in F1 before he is given a drive with one of Red Bull's own teams in 2012.
While Toro Rosso would be the logical option, there remains the possibility that Ricciardo could replace countryman Mark Webber if he elected to leave at the end of his current contract.
However, despite being courted by Renault, Webber seems set to stay with his current employers with team boss Christian Horner quoted as saying it was 'very, very likely' he would re-sign for another season [See separate story HERE
Ricciardo looks to set to compete in each of the remaining races for Hispania with the exception of India, where Kartkikeyan will return for his home race.