Spot the difference: The underfinanced HRT outfit appeared to run the same aero package at Monza (right) as it did at Monaco (left), posing serious questions about its financial situation…
Rumours surrounding the Hispania Racing team’s apparently perilous financial situation were given plenty of support at last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.
The Cosworth-powered F110s qualified last on the grid, a full second slower than the next-slowest Virgin Racing cars, and some astute viewers will have noted the steeply angled rear wing on the Spanish outfit’s cars, which would have done no good on the high-speed Monza circuit.
The lack of development of the team’s inaugural car – which was deigned by chassis builder Dallara – was clearly evident, as the team ran the same bodywork package as it has done all season including, it is believed, the rear wing arrangement the squad used at the high-downforce Monaco circuit.
Another team to run a high-downforce configuration was McLaren – on Jenson Button’s car only – but the MP4-25 was equipped with the ‘F-duct’ that helped to partly circumvent the lack of straight-line speed such a set-up would usually provide.
GPWeek claims that HRT is the first team “in decades” not to have designed a special low-downforce package needed for the high-speed straights that are the hallmark of the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza.
And with the lack of in-season testing, last-minute modifications to the car would have compromised safety, according to its driver, Bruno Senna.
“It was a bit of a rush and unfortunately it didn’t get done,” the Brazilian rookie said.
The team’s bank balance took a further hit with the $20,000 fine handed out to it for the pit stop accident involving Sakon Yamamoto, who struck his radio mechanic during his pit stop.