The newly-owned Campos Meta 1 outfit has been re-baptised as the Hispania Racing F1 Team, or HRT F1 for short – and as an official presentation lies just around the corner, team principal Dr. Colin Kolles has pointed to 'a new birth' for the Spanish operation and praised the unstinting motivation and 'incredible effort that is going on behind-the-scenes' as the team strives desperately to make the starting grid for the F1 2010 curtain-raising Bahrain Grand Prix.
Campos was bought out from eponymous founder Adrián Campos by chief shareholder and team president José Ramón Carabante last month, but will remain close to its Spanish roots both through its new identity and its base in Murcia, near Alicante. Grupo Hispania is the name of 57-year-old Carabante's company, whilst the change has also been formally approved by governing body the FIA.
A presentation – at which the already-signed Bruno Senna and the Brazilian's former GP2 series team-mate Karun Chandhok are expected to be confirmed on the driving strength for HRT F1's maiden campaign of top flight competition – will take place in Murcia on Thursday (4 March), when the livery of the team's Cosworth-powered challenger will likely similarly be unveiled, prior to a possible pre-Sakhir shakedown at Imola in San Marino, not far from chassis-builder Dallara's Parma headquarters.
“The new team name signifies a new birth for our Formula 1 ambitions,” underlined former Jordan, Midland, Spyker and Force India
chief Kolles, who upon taking the helm had alluded to finding 'only chaos', an 'empty workshop' and 'a crazy story' at the financially-troubled Campos concern.
“It highlights the incredible effort that is going on behind-the-scenes to ensure we make a successful debut in Bahrain on 14 March. While we are a new team in the paddock, we will be very proud to stand alongside such legendary names as Ferrari, McLaren, Williams
and Lotus, as we hope to build our own reputation in the coming years.”
Whilst Enrique Rodriguez and Meta Image – the 'Meta' in the original team name – have since departed the fray, it is rumoured that a German investment group has come on-board, with even wilder speculation suggesting that the group in question is Volkswagen, according to El Mundo
. The Spanish newspaper also claims that ex-grand prix ace Campos himself will – contrary to previous beliefs – retain a leading role inside the team as executive vice-president, whilst respected erstwhile Prost, Sauber and Honda engineer Jacky Eeckelaert is understood to have signed up too, Auto Hebdo
On the driving front, the test and reserve position is currently being disputed between USF1 refugee José María López and GP2 race-winner Pastor Maldonado, with the latter managed by FIA President Jean Todt's son Nicolas.