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Teamcheck 2011 - Hispania: Hispania becomes Spanish

Teamcheck 2011 - Hispania
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D he test drives did not bode well. Hispania only competed with the previous year's model. The new car was only presented at the test final in Barcelona. Standing. Apparently the gearbox was still a wooden dummy. Fortunately for the Spanish racing team based in Germany, the season opener in Bahrain was canceled. This gave Colin Kolles' team 14 days more time to put the new HRT F111 together.

Big names, but little time

The names in the design office could see each other to let. Technical director Geoff Willis, chief designer Paul White, chief engineer Jacky Eeckelaert: All people with experience who had worked in larger teams. Most of all, they lacked time. Geoff Willis and his folks didn't start designing the new car until December 15th. The others were already done. The engineers had to work through Christmas. No wind tunnel hours. 'We built the car on the basis of empirical values ​​and with the help of CFD simulation,' confirmed Willis. The wind tunnel program was only started in May. Hispania signed an agreement with Mercedes. The works team has since rented one of its two wind tunnels in Brackley to the competitor.

In fact, the new car looked very neat. The chassis was adopted from the previous year and adapted to the new rules. Transmission and hydraulics came from last year's Williams FW32. Therefore the rear suspension had to be completely redesigned. That of the predecessor car was adapted to an X-Trac transmission. The use at the first Grand Prix in Melbourne became a race against time, the free practice the first test drive. It was very close. Vitantonio Liuzzi and Narain Karthikeyan managed just seven laps before the final training session. It was no surprise that both Hispania drivers failed at the 107 percent hurdle.

From the second Grand Prix onwards, the bottom of the table was better sorted. Qualification for the race was no longer an issue. And Hispania even gave up the red lantern at the Canadian GP. Liuzzi's 13th place brought the small group ahead of Virgin. It should stay that way until the end of the season. On the track, Timo Glock and Jérôme d‘Ambrosio were usually half a second faster. They had to fear the Hispanias only on fast routes. The HRT F111 had little downforce, but also little drag. Geoff Willis gave his teamIn view of the limited means, the grade 8 out of 10.

At the GP Canada, Hispania presented an expansion stage. The exhaust was relocated so that it partially blew into the redesigned diffuser. Willis says: 'A small group worked on it for four to five weeks.' Small means: three aerodynamicists, four designers, four men in production. The new parts were screwed onto the car on the Montreal track.
Purchasing the transmission and hydraulics has significantly reduced the defect rate. Eight failures were due to the technology. There were teams with more defects. Only one failure had to do with the transmission. The rest was spread across the car. The rear wing, an overheated engine, the electrical system and the alternator were affected. Plus Liuzzi's start-up crash in Monza.

Hispania is repositioning itself

In the summer, the smallest team started moving of Formula 1. The Spanish investment group Thesan Capital bought the majority of the shares from owner José Carabante. With the new boss Saul Ruiz des Marcos, the Spanish element was revived. The team will move from its German base to Valencia over the winter. Ex-racing driver Luis Perez-Sala replaces Colin Kolles as team manager. At the age of 41, Pedro de la Rosa makes his third comeback after McLaren in 2006 and Sauber in 2010. Experts believe that the second driver is Jaime Alguersuari.

De la Rosa did not make his decision easy for himself. 'Giving up a two-year contract with McLaren is a big risk. I told the new owners that too. They presented me with their plans, and I have to say: It all has a hand and foot.' At first the McLaren test driver was only a consultant, but then Ruiz des Marcos wanted more. He was looking for a man with experience in the cockpit. One who knows how big teams work. The Spanish investors have understood that they won't get anywhere with Paydrivers. You want to pep up the team and sell them again after three to five years with added value.

De la Rosa knows that there is a lot of work ahead of him. 'It will take a while before we see the first results. We will certainly not be in midfield in 2012. That would be asking too much. But we can shorten the gap to midfield. The new owners are young, but they are no nuts. what they have done so far has worked. If they had made me an indecent salary offer just to get me, I would have refused. It was within the scope of what such a small team can afford. '

There was a change of staff in the technical office. Geoff Willis was praised away by Mercedes. His designated successor Jörg Zander was only briefly on board. Now the Belgian Jacky Eeckelaert heads the design office. The collaboration with Williams could be a wild card. The Grove team didn't just deliver that in 2012Transmission, but also Kers. Compared to Marussia, Hispania already has three tenths in its pocket.


World Championship place: 11
World Championship points: 0
GP victories: 0
Pole positions: 0
Fastest laps: 0
Race kilometers: 9332.9 km=259.2 km per driver and GP (12th place)
Leadership laps: 0
Points placements: 0
Podiums: 0
Target arrivals: 27
Failures: 9 (8 defects, 1 accident) + 2 non-qualifications
Drivers: Vitantonio Liuzzi (P23), Narain Karthikeyan (P26), Daniel Ricciardo (P27)
Engine: Cosworth V8


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