PARIS, June 30, 2011 (AFP) - Australian rookie Daniel Ricciardo will drive for Hispania for the rest of the season, with the exception of the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, the Spanish Formula One team announced on Thursday.
Ricciardo, who turns 22 on Friday, has been working as a test driver for the Red Bull and Toro Roso teams and was given permission to cut his teeth in race conditions with Hispania.
"Hispania Racing and Red Bull Racing signed a collaboration deal today which allows young Australian talent Daniel Ricciardo to join the Spanish team as its official driver," said the official statement.
Ricciardo, who is slated to drive for Toro Rosso in 2012, is likely to team up with the Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi, replacing Narain Karthikeyan -- who will return for his home grand prix in India on October 30.
The Australian, who was born in Perth, will make his debut at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on July 10.
"It's a dream come true for me -- for the first time on an F1 starting grid," he told the team website. "I had to pinch myself a couple of times to be sure that it's real. I'm excited and can hardly wait to drive at Silverstone.
"It's a new challenge, a new experience, a new team, but I'm ready and will give of my best in any event."Hispania team boss Jose Ramon Carabante welcomed the loan deal as the start of a greater collaboration with Red Bull.
"This agreement is a reward for all the hard work Hispania Racing has shown since we started in Formula One last year," he said.
"We're proud that the Formula One world champion team has trusted us in their effort of developing their drivers. Let's hope that this is just the start of a fruitful relationship."
Ricciardo won the 2008 Formula Renault 2.0 Western European Cup and then moved to British Formula Three, where he won the 2009 championship by 87 points. He then moved to Formula Renault 3.5, missing out on the 2010 title by just two points.
In 2011, after testing for Red Bull at the young drivers tests in Abu Dhabi, he was named as third driver for Toro Rosso.