Seeing that most of us who watch Formula 1 are armchair pundits, myself included, it makes it really easy to poke fun at a team like HRT. Even though they are one of the slowest teams in Formula 1, the team is working extremely hard to develop from such a limited budget.
It made me think about how much effort is going into developing this team. They may not have made a complete fan out of me, but I’ll think twice before I shoot another jaded remark toward them when I see them on the grid. You can see that they are working hard.
Will HRT remain in Formula 1 in five years time? We’ll see, but it will be interesting to see how this team develops.
As someone who always has a huge interest in the story of the ‘underdog’, the HRT Formula 1 team has gathered alot of my attention in recent months. Formerly known as Hispania Racing in 2010, HRT has attempted to survive in Formula 1 on a relative shoe-string budget compared to much larger competitors.
It shows with results on track as right now, as HRT cars are only seen on-screen when they are being lapped by the leading cars several times through a race.
In the last two years of competition, Hispania/HRT had not been able to get their car running on track until the first race of the season, missing all pre-season testing. This problem was mostly down to a low budget, and a lack of technical organization prior to the season opener. This year, HRT have made a small step forward by being able to have the 2012 car, the F112 , take it’s first laps on a media day, only one day after all of the pre-season tests had been completed.
Any step forward that you can take is a good one, right?
For readers of Autosport, you know this question. But it’s not the whole story. You might say that Lola had some of the worst F1 cars to date, but when did you ever decide to build a racing car on a £2 million budget?
Lola did, and it was okay. I will go into every bit of detail regarding the Lola Formula One Team that applied for entry in the 2010 FiA Formula One World Championship – an offer that the FiA refused.
We’ve been talking about how complicated Formula One steering wheels have been made since the days of Senna and Prost. However, we just found a video that really explains how complicated the 2011 steering wheels are. Nico’s says it best when they ran out of space to put some buttons on the front, so they had to put some buttons on the back! Insane.
Our final segment of our F1 2011 pre-season review concludes with the 3 freshman of the sport, now entering their sophomore year: Team Lotus, Virgin Racing, and Hispania Racing Team.
The teams have struggled to cope with the lack of testing that Formula 1 provides, coupled with lack of funding and sponsorship available in the strained world economy. Fortunately for some of the teams, they’ve had drivers that have been able to provide funding for their own seats, saving money to allow for any developments possible on limited resources.
Team Lotus have been the top of the pops, with the most experienced driver pairing of the newbies. Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen have helped the team develop reliability and drivability out of their T127 chassis, and managed to place highest among the rear-fielders, with Heikki finishing in 12th at the Japanese Grand Prix. Fortunately, the T128 holds promise as the team have acquired a deal with the other Lotus teams’ supplier, Renault. They will be using their engines and rear end and will more than likely be challenging the slower established teams (yes Force India, you…). The team have developed a good looking car with some of the popular bits and tricks of this year but unfortunately will not feature KERS. Their preseason reliability has been patchy, but that’s to be expected with all their new gadgets. Good news is that their aero developments have been working, utilizing new front wings and the blown exhaust to gain grip and confidence for the drivers. Trulli has said that the team have made a great leap forward. And I believe him.