HRT is set to undertake a considerable overhaul of team personnel in the coming days with news that team principal, Colin Kolles, is set to step aside in the coming weeks to allow the Carabante family to assume greater control of the team.
It is interesting that recent weeks have been filled with speculation about technical director Geoff Willis assuming a role of team principal has proceeded this announcement. The Englishman however is not expected to be named in a more senior capacity with this shakeup.
Kolles, who leases all equipment to Carabante, has clearly been growing frustrated with the lack of investment from the Spanish paymasters and his move aside comes as little surprise giving the tension between both sides that has been apparent since the team came into Formula 1.
Kolles has been linked with numerous roles in future with one possibility for the German to move to Williams as team principal.
HRT also made changes on the driver front with Red Bull and Toro Rosso test driver Daniel Ricciardo set to replace Narain Karthikeyan for the remainder of the season, with the exception of the Indian’s home Grand Prix.
The Australian has impressed in testing and Friday practice duty and it is clear that Red Bull are keen to see how their protégée progresses in a racing environment. Red Bull will have a competitive yardstick with which to measure Ricciardo against in the form of their former driver Tonio Liuzzi.
Ricciardo has been at the centre of much speculation throughout the season with Toro Rosso’s Jamie Alguersuari and Sebastian Buemi both under considerable pressure to perform due to the threat of Ricciardo hanging over their shoulders.
With both drivers impressing in recent outings it was clear that Red Bull would need to look elsewhere to get a full evaluation of Ricciardo. With HRT clearly struggling financially this was a near perfect solution for all parties.