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On The Grid: HRT Cosworth
The Spanish F1 Team
Posted Jun 16, 2011 by Chris White
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The Hispania Racing Team, widely known as the HRT F1 team, are one of the newest team’s to Formula One, having joined the championship in 2010. Originally headed by Adrian Campos before being taken over by Jose Ramon Carabante.
The team were initially a reluctant entry to the championship when Bernie Ecclestone voiced his concerns about the team’s finances and their ability to make the grid for the first race of the season. By the time the season started, many names had been linked to potential investments into the Spanish team, but Carabante rescued the team with his buyout and the team made their debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix last year.
Carabante renamed the team ‘Hispania Racing’, from the original Campos Meta, and moved their base from the Meta Image’s office in Madrid to Grupo Hispania’s Murcia office. Shortly after, Karun Chandhok was announced as the team’s second driver, joining the already confirmed Bruno Senna.
The team started the 2010 campaign with no testing, the first time Senna got behind the wheel of the car on a track was at the Bahrain round of the championship, where he completed three laps in the first free practice session. In qualifying Chandhok and Senna were on the back row of the grid. Both cars started from the pit lane and Chandhok crashed out on the second lap, while Senna completed 18 laps before retiring.
Senna was dropped prior to the British Grand Prix, replaced by test driver Sakon Yamamoto, with Senna reinstated and Chandhok dropped for the next four races, where new test driver Christian Klien took his place.
Both Senna and Chandhok were dropped at the end of 2010 and the team started afresh in 2011 with Narain Karthikeyan and Vitantonio Liuzzi taking their places.
Both drivers failed to qualify within the 107% bracket in Australia, but their form has slowly improved with Liuzzi finishing in 13th and Karthikeyan initially 14th in Montreal, but Karthikeyan dropped to 17th after cutting a chicane in the race resulted in a 20-second penalty. They currently sit 11th in the constructors’ championship with no points on the board after seven races.