Hispania Racing has revealed that its goal for this weekend's Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul – the seventh round of the F1 2010 World Championship campaign – will simply be to close the gap again on its nearest adversaries, and reprise its two-car finishing record.
Having got both Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok to the chequered flag in Malaysia and China last month, HRT took something of a backwards step on its encouraging progress with a double retirement in Spain and only the Indian being classified – even if he did not actually cross the finish line, thanks to Lotus rival Jarno Trulli's unwelcome intervention – last time out in Monaco.
Around the unusually counter-clockwise, undulating Istanbul Park Circuit characterised by a number of slow corners connected by a few short straights – and one that both drivers know well – the Spanish newcomer is bidding to get its learning curve in F1 2010 back on-track.
“Even if our drivers have driven already on the track, it will be the first time for our team in Turkey, where we expect to run with a high-downforce configuration,” explained the Murcia-based operation's team principal Dr. Colin Kolles. It is so different from Monaco, though, and much wider. With its mix of slow, technical, medium and fast corners, we hope to get closer to other teams even if this makes it another tough race on cars and drivers.”
“I drove on two occasions in Turkey,” added Senna. “This experience gave me a fairly reasonable idea of the difficulties. It will be a tough weekend, with an interesting combination of bumps and high-speed corners that will make it challenging for our car – but this level of difficulty makes it interesting, and we will go for it as we need to get another good two-car finish to improve our team's championship classification.”
“I am looking forward to racing in Istanbul after our strong showing in Monaco,” concurred fellow F1 rookie Chandhok, who has registered HRT's best results to-date with a brace of 14th places in Melbourne and Monte Carlo. “It is a shame it had to end the way it did, but the team can be very proud as we did a good job there.
“Turkey will be a completely different challenge to Monaco. I have gone well in Istanbul over the last couple of years in GP2, and was leading the race in 2007 before I was forced to retire. There is a good balance of corners here, especially Turn Eight, which is quite a challenge and very long and fast with the triple apex. Taking care of the tyres in the high-speed corners will be crucial to the outcome of the race. The team is definitely encouraged after Monaco, and we will continue to do our best to get the best possible result.”