Hispania Racing has finalised a deal to use one of the spare windtunnels sitting dormant in the Mercedes GP team’s Brackley headquarters.
With the Silver Arrows unable to run both concurrently due to the Resource Restriction Agreement in operation, the deal will allow the team to develop its Geoff Willis-designed F111 over the course of the season.
The team has also been given the green light to run its 2011-spec front wing at the Malaysian Grand Prix, which it was blocked from using at Australia after it failed the mandatory FIA crash test.
The team has also announced that it will have more new parts for next weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix, leading it to predict it will be more competitive (at least) this weekend.
At Australia, the team famously became the first since Arrows in 2002 to register a double-DNQ after both Narain Karthikeyan and Vitantonio Liuzzi failed to post qualifying lap times within 107% of the fastest lap-time in Q1. Its cause wasn’t helped by the lack of practice mileage the team suffered while its cars were still being assembled during the practice sessions.
“We cannot say we will be inside [107%] for the race, but I am sure we will be really close to Virgin and will close the gap,” Liuzzi is quoted as saying.
“Here in Malaysia it is the worst track for 107%, but I am pretty sure that if we will not get in, the other teams will struggle, because our pace will improve a lot and we will reduce a lot the gap to our competitors.
“Our lap-time issue was just lack of kilometres because in seven laps we achieved a good lap time for a car that we had never driven. It’s a completely different car to last year because the rear end is completely different.
“We had issues because we couldn’t use the front wing that was supposed to be developed for the car for the rest of the aerodynamics, plus there were some other issues.
“So everyone was surprised what we achieved in such a short time with the lap time. It was a shame that we had the stupid problem in the morning on the Saturday because it was just an issue with a button that switched off the car. So already with FP3 we would have been in a much stronger position for qualifying,” he added.
[Image via Sutton Images]