Bruno Senna has predicted that the Hispania Racing F1 Team will be around a second faster than fellow newcomers Lotus and Virgin.

The Spanish outfit was only officially launched on Thursday this week, but while they have yet to even run the Dallara-built HRT car there is still a lot of optimism. Indeed Senna reckons the squad might be able to break into the top-ten on occasion this season - although he is more than aware that the season opener in Bahrain next week could be tough to say the least.

"Obviously, it's not going to be easy for us. Lining up on the grid without even having performed any pre-season testing means that Bahrain will effectively be a test organised under race conditions," Senna wrote in his column for

"For example, we'll be starting out with suspension components made of metal instead of carbon fibre, so the car will weigh 20 kilos more than we would have liked.

"But in Colin Kolles [our team boss], Geoff Willis and Jacky Eeckelaert, the team has brought some established F1 talent on board.

"Also, the basic data that we are getting from the wind tunnel and some simulations run by Dallara are looking quite promising.

"In Barcelona, Lotus and Virgin were only a good second faster than a GP2 car, for which Dallara has all the data. And according to Dallara's estimates we should be at least two seconds faster than a GP2 car right from the word go," he summed-up.