|Hispania Racing Team Cosworth
The Hispania Racing Team has had a traumatic build-up to its maiden F1 campaign, and will be the only team to arrive in Bahrain having never driven its 2010 challenger in anger.
Thankfully, the team previously known as Campos will at least – and at last – grace the F1 stage in spite of the last-minute management buy-out seeing the team’s name change to Hispania Racing Team.
The team’s Dallara-designed and built chassis has been in the works for some time, and its production was held up by a funding crisis that threatened to plunge the team down the same murky toilet as USF1. Thankfully, the investor buy-out has provided some stability, and the experienced (albeit temperamental) Colin Kolles has been hired to oversee the operation.
The odds are heavily stacked against the team, and its car’s first shakedown laps will be driven on Friday practice at Bahrain, which is hardly a good testing ground if you’re in an untried and unproven car.
Much of their debut season is going to be very hit and miss. While the management and the chassis builder at least have some experience under their belts, the driver line-up really doesn’t. Karun Chandhok finally arrives on the F1 stage after successful junior formulae performances, but he might struggle with the weight of expectation of the Indian population on his shoulders. After having been confirmed early in the piece, Bruno Senna might be wondering if signing on with HRT was necessarily the wisest choice. But when you’re an aspiring rookie, you take what you can get in spite of how doubtful it may appear. While he may carry the family name, he won’t want that being a millstone around his neck if the car can’t perform at some stage.
The drivers are likely to occupy the back row for the opening few races at least. If the team can get some structure and organisation into it, in addition to sorting what should be a capable Dallara chassis, there’s no reason to think why they should start to become a more serious proposition.
- The team’s future is at last secured after a turubulent pre-season blighted by a lack of funds.
- Two hungry and talented drivers in the line-up.
- A solid pedigree in the Dallara chassis – can its potential be unlocked?
- Zero testing is going to make the opening races a nightmare until the team has its entire operation sorted.
- An inexperienced line-up won’t help with identifying the development pitfalls in the package.
- The HRT acronym in the name?
What defines success in 2010?
- Survive the opening practice session and the Grand Prix weekend.
- Aim to run at a remotely respectable pace until reliability is sorted.
- Perhaps challenge the other two rookie outfits by mid-season?