The new Hispania Racing F1 Team has been officially presented to the public in Murcia today (Thursday), with the confirmation that GP2 Series race-winner Karun Chandhok will join former team-mate Bruno Senna on the driving strength for the Spanish outfit's maiden campaign of top flight competition – and in so doing become only the second of his countrymen ever to reach the very highest level in the sport.
Following the takeover of what had been Campos Meta 1 by team president José Ramón Carabante last month and the installation of former Jordan, Midland, Spyker and Force India team principal Dr. Colin Kolles at the helm, the somewhat unfortunately-named HRT F1 operation has now proudly unveiled its 2010 challenger – called simply HRT – in the presence of both Ramon Luis Valcárcel, president of the region of Murcia and Carlos Gracia, Spanish Motorsport Federation president at the Auditorio de Murcia.
“I am very pleased to use the Murcia site to officially unveil our car livery today that reflects the Murcia identity,” remarked Kolles. “We also complete the driver line-up with Karun Chandhok at the wheel of the car for our first-ever season. We have been very impressed with Karun's performance in GP2. India is a great country, and it will be great for the sport to have an Indian driver on the grid for the first Indian Grand Prix.
“Murcia is part of the roots of the team. Everything is now in-place after an impossible race against time to register the team's name, and I truly believe we have an excellent platform to build on and move forward for a strong 2010 performance. Now we need to work together. We need to learn together and keep developing as a team.”
“The new HRT F1 Team is born in Murcia,” added Carabante, now occupying the role of chairman of his country's inaugural F1 entry. “I am proud to welcome you to Murcia where the team has its roots, and to have given to my country the pride of the first-ever Spanish Formula 1 team.
“The name of the team contains the word Hispania, which is not only the name of one of my companies, but Hispania was also the Roman name for the Iberian Peninsula. That reflects now our team's new identity. 2010 will be a major debut for the team and drivers at the wheel of our HRT F1 Team car.”
Chandhok's recruitment means that all seats in the 2010 field have now been filled, whilst the popular 26-year-old will follow in the wheel tracks of groundbreaking compatriot Narain Karthikeyan, who made history when he became the first Indian to reach F1 by competing for Jordan Grand Prix five years ago.