Hispania Racing team boss has launched an extraordinary attack on his team’s quartet of drivers for the 2010 season, blaming their inexperience in Formula 1 as one of the principal reasons for the team’s relative lack of success in its debut season.
The Spanish outfit – by dint of better reliability rather than outright pace – managed to finish ahead of fellow-rookie outfit Virgin Racing in the Constructors’ Championship standings, but one place short of the highly coveted tenth place (and its FOM travel money rewards) that ultimately was achieved by Lotus Racing.
The team started its debut season with former GP2 drivers Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok in the Dallara-designed F110 chassis, before later bringing in Sakon Yamamoto and Christian Klien to substitute for several races in the second half of the season.
And while both Yamamoto and Klien brought previous F1 experience with their roles, Kolles did not lay some of the blame at the underdeveloped chassis, which was late in being produced and started the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix with no pre-season testing.
“It was a difficult year but we were the most reliable new team,” Kolles is quoted in an interview distributed by the team’s press office.
“I think the only reason why we did not finish tenth is that teams like Lotus and Virgin had more experienced drivers during the whole season,” he added.
“I think that in testing we showed quite a good performance in relation to the other new teams.”
The team has been the subject of intense speculation in the last fortnight, amidst the announcement that it had split with prospective 2011 chassis builder Toyota Motorsport, and it remains to be seen as to who will actually build their 2011 contender, given the team’s lack of in-house resources to manage the project itself.
“We are working to have a better package than last year. Obviously this depends on a lot of factors but we are working to achieve our goals,” Kolles cryptically added in response to this.
What is not elaborated on is what actual steps the team is taking to improve on this, and it is speculated that the team may be forced to use an updated version of its 2010 chassis for the 2011 season, potentially leaving it vulnerable to the 107% qualifying rule that is being reintroduced. The rule stipulates that cars will only qualify for the race if their fastest lap time posted is set within 107% of the fastest driver in the opening phase of knockout qualifying.
And with the outfit mired in so much uncertainty and without much in the way of financial resources (that is known of), it’s unlikely that it will be an attractive prospect for the experienced drivers that Kolles seems to want to bring on board.
[Original image via AUTOSPORT]