'HRT couldn't have a more honest, hard-working pair' of drivers than Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok for its maiden campaign of top flight competition – that is the view of the duo's erstwhile GP2 Series team boss Paul Jackson, who has revealed his delight at their promotion to the highest level this year with the Spanish newcomer formerly known as Campos.
There has been criticism in some quarters that a team that has yet to so much as turn a wheel with its Dallara-designed, Cosworth-powered challenger – and is indeed unlikely to do so until the curtain-raising Bahrain Grand Prix at Sakhir in just over a week's time – has employed a brace of rookies for its debut, when experience is by common consent the order of the day.
However, that is not a school of thought that is shared by Jackson, for whose iSport International outfit Senna and Chandhok competed alongside each other in GP2 two years ago, between them notching up three victories and eight podium finishes in the F1 feeder category, with the Brazilian pushing Giorgio Pantano hard for the title, and his Indian team-mate unfortunately finding himself on the receiving end of some outrageous ill-fortune en route
to an eventual P10.
The most notable aspect of their partnership, though, was that Senna and Chandhok – popular paddock figures both – became genuinely good friends over the course of the year, enabling their mutual trust and strong working relationship to drive iSport forward and onto great things. Hispania Racing, Jackson contends, has chosen wisely indeed.
“First of all, it is great to see both our 2008 drivers finally graduate to F1 after a couple of false starts,” the Englishman told Will Buxton in an interview published at willthef1journo.wordpress.com
. “It would have been a grave injustice had these talents gone to waste.
“I think I have gone on-record before as saying that 2008 was one of the most enjoyable years of racing I can remember. Bruno and Karun gelled so well as a team and genuinely helped each other and the team develop. There was absolute trust and respect between them, and they would accept each other's judgement on set-up without question. There was never any gamesmanship or misleading – they are both really good, genuine guys.
“I know that their situation is going to be very difficult at the start, but HRT couldn't have a more honest, hard-working pair and with time and patience I hope they will progress. The world has seen how Bruno performed in his Honda test and likewise, Karun in his Red Bull test. At least HRT should have eliminated one area of doubt when they make their debut in Bahrain.”