HRT team dentist boss Colin Kolles has conceded that an all-rookie driver line-up is a disadvantage to the Hispania Racing squad’s ambitions in progressing up the grid.
Despite admitting he is pleased with the efforts of both Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok – who have racked up five race finishes between them so far – Colles told Finland’s Turun Sanomat: “It is useless to deny that their lack of F1 experience is a disadvantage at this point."
The team has recently signed former Midland and Super Aguri racer Sakon Yamamoto to act as the team’s ‘Man Friday’ in the free practice sessions.
Sakon is known to be arriving with a substantial sponsorship portfolio that will no doubt help the team’s budget, but to be fair to Sakon, he is not exactly a pacesetting, experienced test driver, no matter how much HRT official may protest.
"We could not afford to hire drivers like Jarno Trulli or Heikki Kovalainen, as Lotus did," Kolles added. "We have to take drivers who are good but who also come with budgets.”
Kolles also added that Yamamoto will help HRT progress "because he has more experience than Bruno and Karun".
HRT will also launch some new components to its F110 chassis for its home race at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, but Kolles added that "much work is needed” for his team to progress further up the grid.
HRT has not been helped by a fractious relationship with chassis-supplier Dallara – the Italian company was not paid for months by HRT’s predecessors, Campos Meta – and the team is set to proceed with some independent windtunnel testing to help improve the F110 further.
"Our competitors have quite a lead on us but I still believe that in the end Hispania will be the best of the new teams," Kolles added optimistically.
[Original image via GP Update]