Hispania Racing has become the last team to unveil its 2011 challenger – dubbed the F111 – after it took the covers off its Geoff Willis-penned creation on the penultimate day of winter testing at Barcelona.
The Cosworth-powered car has had a lengthy gestation after the team’s plans for a technical tie-in with Toyota went belly-up, and the F111 is an updated version of the Dallara-designed F110 the outfit raced in its inaugural year.
Despite it having many underpinnings with its little-loved – and equally little-developed – predecessor, the team’s drivers, Narain Karthikeyan and Vitantonio Liuzzi, are confident that the new car will represent a significant step forward as the team enters its second season of competition.
The team had also secured the supply of the Williams’ team’s rear end design, including its transmission and hydraulics units.
A noticeable change is the new livery being carried by the new car, which has been the work of Hollywood designer Daniel Simon. There is also plenty of real estate available on the sidepods, flanks and wings of the F111 for prospective advertisers and sponsors, which the team currently appears to be lacking at this stage.
The outfit had hoped to complete some installation running ahead of the final day of testing on Saturday, but some parts were yet to arrive.
Speaking at the team’s launch, team principal Colin Kolles outlined the team’s aims for the 2011 season.
“We know that we don’t have the quickest car. That’s very clear,” he said.
“Our strategy is to be reliable, to finish races, to have experienced drivers to take advantage of certain situations.
“I think that our car is quicker than last year’s car. Significantly. We have a Williams rear end, we have a Cosworth engine. There is nothing wrong there. We have an improved aero package so everything looks more promising. We have drivers with much more experience so this should all be better. On paper it looks better, I think.”
Kolles was also vocal about the recent signing of Liuzzi as Karthikeyan’s team-mate for the 2011 season, and believes that both drivers will bring the team forward.
“Tonio is one of the best drivers in terms of giving feedback to the engineers,” he added. “I think what he did in Barcelona at the last test was an amazing job because I know how much fuel there was on and I know what would have been possible.”