Baumgartner tweet prompts HRT rumors

UPDATE This rumor is downgraded to 'false' with today's Liuzzi announcement.

02/17/11 Zsolt Baumgartner, Hungary’s only Formula 1 driver, has got the rumor mill running in over time after he declared on Twitter that he has a big announcement on Friday, 18 February. Baumgartner tweeted on Tuesday: “Is everyone looking forward to my big announcement on Friday? "

This has prompted speculation that he will fill the second HRT seat alongside Narain Karthikeyan for 2011.

Baumgartner made his Formula One race debut at the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix, substituting for the injured Ralph Firman in the Jordan team; he also took part in the Italian Grand Prix that year.

Plans were made for Baumgartner to drive for Jordan again in 2004 but he failed to agree terms with Jordan, and he signed with Minardi instead. Baumgartner and his management to set up a “Zsolt Baumgartner Supporter’s Club" to aid his career.

However, Baumgartner failed to distinguish himself in the 2004 Formula One season. After two near-misses (9th in Monaco and 10th in Canada) he managed to take Minardi’s first point in over 2 years by finishing 8th (albeit second last) in the US Grand Prix.

Baumgartner has not featured in any recent motorsport activity and his website has apparently not been updated since March 2007, announcing at the time: “Minardi Team USA is pleased to announce that Zsolt Baumgartner has been appointed official test and reserve driver for the 2007 season."

Leave a Reply