Sakon Yamamoto set to keep Hispania Racing seat

By Gareth Llewellyn
sakon yamamoto
(Photo: Cord Rodefeld)

sakon yamamoto

Sakon Yamamoto is set to keep his place at Hispania Racing after team principal Colin Kolles revealed “there is no reason to make any changes so far”.

The Japanese driver hinted last week that he expected to remain in the car until the end of the season, and Kolles’ latest remarks on the driver issues at HRT will dash any hopes Karun Chandhok had of regaining his seat for the final races.

Yamamoto first stood in for Bruno Senna at Silverstone before replacing Chandhok from the following race at Hockenheim, with Yamamoto’s considerable sponsorship being Kolles’ reason for persisting with the former Super Aguri and Spyker man.

Since his return to Formula 1, Yamamoto has found himself the slowest of all drivers during free practice and qualifying, with the exception of the last race at Spa where he qualified 21st. He has finished three of his four races for the team, but has come last in each.

“I think that both drivers are doing a good job,” said Kolles. “We had the best qualifying result in Spa so far and Sakon’s lap times were at the same level as Kovalainen’s and Glock’s in the race. I think there is no reason to make any changes so far.”

In fact, the F110 of Chandhok/Yamamoto appears to be the more reliable of the two chassis, with Senna retiring seven times, to Chandhok’s two and Yamamoto’s one. The team’s best results came from Chandhok when he finished 14th in Australia and Monaco.

Kolles is confident of his team’s chances at the next race at Monza, with the car suited to low downforce layouts, although they could struggle with the high speeds required.

With Senna also confident of keeping his seat until the end of the season, Chandhok has busied himself away from the team’s official duties with a stint as a commentator with the BBC, and on Saturday, was loaned out to Red Bull Racing to take the honour of being the first F1 driver to lap the new Korean International Circuit ahead of October’s Korean Grand Prix.

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