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F1 ON A BUDGET


With a budget dwarfed by the front-running teams, is HRT an example of Formula 1 – how fast can you afford to go?


ate in 2009, a new Formula 1 team was born, designed to run to a budget of just £40m, as


BY SAM COLLINS


designated by the FIA. Campos Grand Prix had partnered with Dallara to develop a new car, the F111, but changes in the team’s ownership and management led to that car never being fully completed. Since that false start, the team has morphed into Hispania, and eventually HRT (Hispania Racing Team). Since its race debut, it has done little more than prop up the Formula 1 grid, but a recent re-structure is aimed at changing that. The Hispania-Dallara F110


of 2010 wasn’t ready for the first race of the season and raced for a season without any notable developments, beyond some new wing mirrors and a different make of fuel cell. The 2011 car, the F111, was late too, and the trend continued into


2012, although the F112 did manage a brief shakedown run at Barcelona ahead of the opening race meeting. Toni Cuquerella was appointed technical director of the team in early 2012 – a position that had been vacant for some time – and what he inherited was a team in a state of disarray. ‘The car


Cost-capped Formula 1 L


Europe because we did not have a central facility. We did not have a drawing office or stress analysis or any of that stuff. So the design of the F112 was done by a number different companies – one did the monocoque, another the front wing and another the rear wing. Even when the groups are in the same country, they are nowhere near each other. ‘It’s fair to say the main cluster


“Our biggest lack of performance is really aerodynamics”


was very late. The drawings only started in September of 2011, just after Geoff Willis had left the team,’ he explains. ‘The car was done with the people who were just remaining in the team, and Jacky Eeckelaert, who was leading it. There were different clusters of people all around


of these companies has been in Augsberg, Germany, around the Holzer Performance company, who were the suppliers of the design of the car. The chassis is manufactured by Carbo Tech of Austria, but it is not designed by them. That was done in England. The situation is really a big mess


and it’s difficult to understand as many people and companies were involved. I think we were lucky it was all assembled in a reasonable way… You’d expect things not to fit together but actually that wasn’t really a problem.’


PROJECT TARGETS The complex nature of the car’s development left the car without any real direction on the face of it, but there were still project targets. ‘The target was to be on time because everybody knew it was very tight to get a car done to be at the first race, as well as meet the regulations, but a big one was to be quicker in comparison to the rest of the field than the last car. Some of these things have clearly been achieved, but others we are still working on.’ The result is the HRT F112. It made it to the first race in Australia, but was clearly


20 www.racecar-engineering.com • July 2012 July 2012


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