Tag Archives: HRT

Time to say Goodbye: HRT

3 Feb

HRT, I can tell that’s not the name of a driver.

No it’s not it’s actually the name of a Formula 1 team (formerly Hispania Racing Team) launched in 2010.

So pretty short lived.

Very short lived, HRT have only competed in 3 seasons and only 58 races.

So why have they had to leave?

Financial problems saw the owners of the team searching for a new buyer, but when a new buyer couldn’t be found in time the team folded.

How did it all start?

To be honest it started much the way it ended, with the team desperately short of money, after making a successful bid under the name Campos Meta but from the start it was not plain sailing. Firstly the team was getting Italian company Dallara to build it’s chassis, but at a price of €7 million it wasn’t cheap and HRT’s inconsistent cash flow meant they couldn’t always pay on time. As well as this even before the car had taken to the track the team was bought out by Jose Ramon Carabante who renamed the team Hispania Racing Team. But the team did eventually manage to make it to the 2010 season opener in Bahrain only for both cars to fail to make it to the finish and their debut season was filled with retirements and finishes way off the points, the only thing that changed was the drivers, over their debut season HRT got through 4 drivers each new one taking the definition of slow to a new level. Despite the complete lack of speed HRT miraculously managed to finish 11th in the constructors championship.

That sounds a bit harsh, they couldn’t have actually been that slow.

They were, not only was it a rarity not to see both HRTs at the very back of the grid but come the race they were literally in a race of their own. In their second season HRT had a complete rehaul but sadly it would take more than new drivers to stop HRT propping up the grid, firstly they failed to qualify for the first race of the season and then yet again they failed to decide which driver line up they wanted, with Red Bull protege Daniel Ricciardo coming into the team mid season. But yet again they managed to finish 11th in the championship due to another miracle.

Surely they couldn’t have still been that bad in 2012.

You’d have thought now but someone forgot to tell HRT that yet again failing to qualify at the season opener and despite keeping the same driver line up throughout the season -shock horror- and even occasionally outqualifying Marussia they still couldn’t perform as well as they may have hoped and this time finished last in the constructors championship. As a result of this the team was put up for sale.

So what do you think ultimately caused the destruction of HRT?

When they started there was too much internal politics what with team completely changing hands before their first season even began, and then there was a complete lack of funding and of course they didn’t actually have a base since the chassis was made in Italy other major parts in Germany and the two headquarters in Spain. In short they gave a masterclass in how not to run an F1 team.

Is another team going to replace them?

As of yet no one has made a serious bid to join with the earliest chance of a team entering being for the start of the 2014 season, but if a new team was to enter they would have to get approval from the FIA and they may not be too keen after HRT’s failings.

So how do you rate HRT’s career?

1/10 I would probably have been happier if they didn’t race.

Lotus impress but still no victory

8 Jul

Driver ratings, GB 12, pt.2, HRT Lotus and Maussia

Pedro De La Rosa: 5/10 Q22 S21 F20

For 1 lap Pedro appeared to actually impress as Pedro capitalised on mistakes and accident to move up 2 places on lap 1. Sadly HRT bounced him back to reality, and all he could finish was 22nd.

Narain Karthikeyan: 4/10 Q23 S22 F21

If it weren’t for the money Narain wouldn’t be allowed near the racing seat of the HRT but F1 moves in mysterious ways and Karthikeyan is allowed to drive. Not that it means much though as he finished at the back.

Kimi Raikkonen: 8/10 Q6 S6 F5

Many expected his return to be like Schumacher’s and fail to deliver but Kimi has stormed back into F1 and added to his points tally at Silverstone. It was a really strong performance by Kimi to take home another 10 points and put himself in a great position for the championship, even better still he set the fastest lap..

Romain Grosjean: 10/10 Q10 S9 F6 #DriverOfTheDay

Romain drove fantastically all weekend, although a mistake at the end of Q2 saw the Lotus beached and left Romain unable to contest Q3, if he had we could easily have expected him to be around 6th. In the race though Romain made up for that spin, the first lap was marred by a slight touch with Paul Di Resta which saw Grosjean have to pit for a new wing, but Grosjean was a man possessed and he set fastest lap after fastest lap to storm his way up the field, if he hadn’t had that front wing pitstop I think he would have finished on the podium.

Timo Glock: 5/10 Q21 S20 F18

It was good to see Timo back after missing the Valencia GP with a stomach bug, but it was your typical ‘new team’ performance with Timo only coming home above team-mate Pic and the HRTs.

Charles Pic: 4/10 Q24 S24 F19

Charles started the season looking strong, but in recent weeks he’s tailed off and yet again Charles qualified behind the HRTs. Luckily Pic managed to make the car work in the race which helped him to finish above the HRTs in an uneventful race.

Romain Grosjean was so near but so far

24 Jun

Picture courtest of formulaone.com

Driver Ratings Europe 12, Pt.2, HRT, Lotus and Marusia

Pedro De La Rosa: 7/10 Q21 F17

HRT are at last managing to find some much needed speed , both HRTs qualified ahead of the sole Marussia and De La Rosa put in a strong performance to finish only 1 lap behind Alonso (although he was helped by the new safety car rules).

Narain Karthikeyan: 7/10 Q22 F18

A miracle saw Narain Karthikeyan set a lap faster than fellow back marker Charles Pic, and he was regularly not the last man on track due to other drivers suffering accident damage.

Kimi Raikkonen: 9/10 Q5 F2

Kimi had been looking promising all weekend, but his race started off rather drab. It was only after the safety car returned to the pits that Kimi really started to charge, profiting from the retirements of Vettel, Grosjean and Hamilton to finish 2nd and pick up his first podium since Monza 2009.

Romain Grosjean: 10/10 Q4 F ret.

Romain has really landed on his feet this season and yet again he was impressive in qualifying, but it was the race where he made hearts race. Romain overtook Maldonado in a hectic first lap but he took too long to pass the ailing Lewis Hamilton to start charging after Vettel. Romain would probably have been delighted with the safety car as it let him close the gap to Vettel, but the restart wasn’t good as Alonso overtook him at turn 2. Maybe Grosjean could have still won the race but we will never know as an alternator ended his race on lap 40.

Charles Pic: 7/10 Q23 F15

May have been outperformed by both HRTs in qualifying but Charles showed them that HRT still have a thing to learn from Marussia’s in the race. Maybe most amazingly Pic even finished ahead of Felipe Massa.

Timo Glock: – DNQ DNS

Timo Glock pulled out of qualifying and the race with a stomach bug.

Picture courtesy of formulaone.com

 

Vettel’s storming lap grants him pole

9 Jun

3 winners and losers of qualifying, Canada 12.

Whilst Vettel picked up his 32nd career pole position here are the other men who performed well and the guys who failed to perform.

Winners:

Felipe Massa: One of Massa’s strongest traits in recent years has been his ability to suddenly improve just when everyone’s calling for his head. This weekend Massa looked very strong again in his Ferrari, and his qualifying position of 6th could see him stand on the podium for the first time since the 2010 Korean GP.

Pedro De La Rosa: To be fair Pedro didn’t have much to live up to this weekend in his HRT but he put in a strong qualifying performance to start 21st on the grid ahead of both of the faster Marussia F1 cars.

Paul Di Resta: It was a very assured performance by the young Scot to take his under-performing Force India to 8th on the grid, only his second Q3 qualification of the season.

Losers:

Jenson Button: The excuse will be that he’s on a different strategy (which to be fair he is, JB will start on softs) but even so it’s a very poor qualification performance as he only just scraped through Q2 and isn’t a likely contender to get a podium tomorrow.

Nico Hulkenburg: I’s actually quite disappointed with Nico, he had pace in the practice sessions, finishing 6th, 8th and 10th but he failed to perform to his full potential in qualifying and will start from 13th tomorrow.

Kimi Raikkonen: whilst his inexperienced team mate qualified 7th the former world champion could only manage 12th, even if he was only 0.1 seconds slower. Kimi will have to perform better tomorrow if he wants a good result.

Driver Ratings, Monaco 12, Pt.2 HRT, Lotus and Marussia

27 May

Pedro De La Rosa: 5/10 Q21 S20 ret.

Pedro did quite well in qualifying even managing to qualify ahead of a Marussia but his race was short lived, he had to retire on the first lap due to an accident.

Narain Karthikeyan: 4/10 Q23 S22 F15

On paper it was a good result to finish 15th, but in reality it was dire. He was the only driver to be lapped twice and it was only that he was being lapped that he deserved to be on TV as he made a nuisance of himself.

Kimi Raikkonen: 6/10 Q8 F9

To be fair to Kimi he was definitely on a wet weather strategy and when that rain failed to come he was never going to repeat his podiums of previous races, but he failed to perform in qualifying as the increasingly quick Ferraris demoted him down the order.

Romain Grosjean: 7/10 Q5 S4 F ret

Romain’s race was over before it had begun as he was forced to retire on the first lap after a collision at turn 1. But it was a good weekend for Romain up to then, he qualified fantastically in 4th and maybe could have picked up a podium if he’s stayed in.

Timo Glock: 6/10 Q20 S19 F14

It was a good qualifying performance as he out qualified team mate Charles Pic, something he hasn’t managed as much as he’d have liked recently. Timo’s race was distinctly average despite rising 4 places on the first lap. Sadly the race couldn’t continue that momentum and he profited from a few late retirements to move up to 14th.

Charles Pic: 6/10 Q22 S21 F ret.

It was a shame that Charles couldn’t complete the race due to electric problem on lap 64, up to then he’d drove well, he gained 5 places on the first lap and running in a fantastic 16th place before retirement, and he’d have finished 14th if he hadn’t retired.

Driver Ratings, Spain 12, Pt.2 HRT, Lotus and Marussia

13 May

Pedro De La Rosa: 5/10 Q23 S22 F19

Another poor weekend. 23rd in all the practice sessions and then 23rd in qualifying, would he have finished so ‘high’ up without drivers retirements? Definitely not.

Narain Karthikeyan: 4/10 Q24 S23 Ret.

Very disappointing display by Narain, missed 107% by a country mile to ensure he’s been the slowest driver in every qualifying session and then did very little (except get in the way) come the race.

Kimi Raikkonen: 8/10 Q5 S4 F3

What a great drive! He overtook his team mate on the first lap and was the only driver to threaten Maldonado and Alonso through the entire race. Maybe if the race had been one lap longer he could have caught Fernando, but all that matters is that the return is going well and he’s got 2 podiums in the last 2 races.

Romain Grosjean: 8/10 Q4 S3 F4

What en exciting talent. The signing of Grosjean looks like a mighty pull by Lotus who are now 3rd in the constructors championship and Romain drove a non eventful race to take home another 12 points. Could Romain win the F1 title only a year after winning GP2? Only time will tell.

Timo Glock: 6/10 Q22 S21 F18

For the second race in a row Timo was behind his fellow Marussia on the grid, but that didn’t last long, overtaking Pic and two others on the first lap and constantly battling away to try and get the Marussia into a respectful position.

Charles Pic: 7/10 Q21 S20 ret.

Congratulations are in order for Charles, out qualifying Timo for the second race in a row, the race was no less eventful, delaying Fernando Alonso (probably what stopped Fernando winning) and then when he did his drive thru he just entered the garage never to return die to a drive shaft problem. Better luck next time.

What teams will be aiming to do at Mugello testing!

1 May

Today sees the return of in-season testing as the Formula 1 circus makes it’s way to Mugello in Italy, a track owned by Ferrari. Many teams will see it as a way to bring upgrades to their cars to make themselves more competitive. Here’s the teams and what I think their aims will be:

Caterham: They’ve made a bright start to the season and despite still not having made it to the midfield there is still the belief that this could be the year. Caterham are likely to use this opportunity to try and close the gap on the midfield and to let Vitaly Petrov try and get more use to the car because I believe that so far we haven’t seen Vitaly’s potential fully unleashed.

Day 1: Gonzalez (test driver) Day 2: Petrov Day 3: Kovalainen

Ferrari: Ferrari have made a dismal start to the season and have been defending their position by saying that they’ll be much more competitive once the upgrades scheduled for Mugello and Barcelona have been added to the car. Therefore Ferrari’s aim in their back yard will be to see just how much they’ve closed the gap and to evaluate wether these upgrades are effective or not.

Day 1: Massa Day 2: Massa and Alonso Day 3: Alonso

Force India: Despite receiving a lot of pre-season hype Force India haven’t fulfilled their potential and are still down in 8th in the constructors championship. Because of this I imagine Force India will spend the three days at Mugello upgrading the car and solving the problems on the car.

Day 1: Bianchi (test driver) Day 2: Di Resta Day 3: Hulkenburg

HRT: HRT have decided not to run at Mugello due to lack of funding and they are currently moving their team head-quaters.

Lotus: Lotus have started the year brightly and already look like they could challenge for the constructors championship. Lotus therefore will be aiming to build on their earlier successes and find those few tenths of a second that make the difference between winning and losing.

Day 1: d’Ambrosio Day 2: Raikkonen Day 3: Grosjean

Marussia: Not the start to the year Marussia were looking for so they’re likely to be trying to close down Caterham and leave HRT far behind by trying different set ups on the car and collecting more tyre data as well as maybe a few upgrades.

Day 1: Pic Day 2: Pic and Glock Day 3: Glock

McLaren: Despite not having won a race since the first race McLaren are not taking testing next week as a serious exercise to bring improvements to the car and are instead using it to give their test drivers more track time. Despite this Lewis Hamilton has been trying to drive during the test after his lacklustre finish in Bahrain.

Day 1: Turvey and Paffett (both test drivers) Day 2: Paffet Day 3: Turvey

Mercedes: Mercedes will need to do radical work on the car if they are to challenge for the championship this season, they’re race pace has been poor in comparison to their qualifying pace. What Mercedes need to do to improve their race pace is to collect tyre data and bring improvements to the car that will improve their race pace.

Day 1: Rosberg and Schumacher Day 2: Schumacher Day 3: Rosberg

Red Bull: Despite starting the year slow Red Bull have really upped their game and this led to them winning the Bahrain Grand Prix. But even so Red Bull won’t be lazing around in Mugello as they know that you have to evolve the car over the season if you want to win. So far Red Bull haven’t announced their driver line up.

Sauber: Sauber have been one of the best teams so far this year and have already picked up big points. But with two relatively inexperienced drivers there was always going to be a lack of development in the car. Therefore I imagine Sauber will be spending their time trying to develop the car and get the drivers more miles.

Day 1: Kobayashi Day 2: Kobayashi Day 3: Perez

Toro Rosso: Despite starting brightly Toro Rosso have had a miserable last two races and their qualifying has been very inconsistent, I imagine then that Toro Rosso will try and bring some stability to their performances and to get the car further up the midfield.

Day 1: Vergne Day 2: Vergne and Ricciardo Day 3: Ricciardo

Williams: Williams have been the team who have impressed the most this year and have really turned last years performances around but even so both cars retired from the Bahrain GP and so they’re likely to try and improve the cars reliability.

Day 1: Bottas (test driver) Day 2: Maldonado Day 3: Senna