Hispania boss blames lack of experience for poor season

By Gareth Llewellyn
hispania racing
(Photo: Gregory Moine)

sakon yamamoto

Hispania Racing boss Colin Kolles believes his team’s lack of experienced drivers is the reason why they struggled in 2010.

The Spanish team failed to win a single point and finished 11th out of 12 teams in their first season in the sport, splitting fellow debutants Lotus Racing and Virgin Racing.

Although none of the new teams scored a point in 2010, Lotus secured the lucrative 10th spot in the constructors’ championship courtesy of Heikki Kovalainen’s 12th-place finish in the Japanese Grand Prix–the highest finish of any of the new teams.

It is no secret that HRT had the smallest budget of Formula 1’s teams in 2010, a situation which saw four drivers deployed over the course of the season to cut costs and bring in vital sponsorship money to help fund their campaign.

The Spanish team began the season with Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna, but the Indian was ousted in favour of Sakon Yamamoto from the German Grand Prix onwards, with the Japanese driver bringing significantly more money to the team.

Former Jaguar and Red Bull Racing driver Christian Klien was the fourth driver used by the team in the closing stages of the season.

“We were the most reliable new team,” said Kolles. “I think the only reason why we did not finish 10th is that teams like Lotus and Virgin had more experienced drivers during the whole season.

“We improved over the season. Reliability was the first objective. We learned a lot and hope that from now on we can concentrate more on improving the performance.”

HRT have so far struggled to put together a package for 2011, with a deal with former F1 team Toyota to supply chassis designs falling through due to lack of payment.

But despite ongoing financial concerns, Kolles is confident his team can improve next season. “We are working to have a better package than last year,” he said. “Obviously this depends on a lot of factors but we are working to achieve our goals.”

HRT will again be supplied with Cosworth engines along with Virgin and Williams, as Lotus switch to Renault power. Kolles, however, is yet to name his drivers, with the team again expected to look at candidates likely to bring in large sponsors to secure their drive.

Experienced former Sauber driver Pedro de la Rosa is understood to be top of Kolles’ wish list, but only if the Spaniard can raise the necessary funding.

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