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Kolles: We have a plan for F1 2011

Colin Kolles is upbeat about Hispania's prospects and thinks they are no worse off than the likes of Lotus, Virgin and Sauber.
Hispania Racing boss Colin Kolles has said that he doesn't believe 'his' team is any worse or better off than any of the other smaller outfits currently competing at the pinnacle of the sport.

There were reports last month that the Spanish squad was facing problems and might not make it through the season, subsequently strongly denied by owner, Jose Ramon Carabante [see separate story - click here]. Speaking in Friday's FIA press conference, ahead of this weekend's European Grand Prix at Valencia in Spain, Kolles reiterated that things are going okay.

“The story which you read [about the financial situation of the team] was actually corrected one hour after the release because it was a wrong quote taken out of context,” Kolles told reporters.

“Obviously you have to look in a Formula One team every day how you find more sponsorship and how you survive. [But] I think our situation is not better or worse than any of the smaller teams.”

As for the progress HRT is making, Kolles added that things are starting to really gel now, even if they are still suffering with reliability issues - as shown in practice on Friday, when Karun Chandhok suffered a hydraulic problem and test and reserve driver, Christian Klien had gearbox woes.

“Well, regarding reliability we still have some issues on the rear end. We are trying to sort this out obviously. Xtrac is pushing to find solutions. We experienced today in free practice on both cars rear end problems. I hope we will be fine for the weekend but obviously this is not satisfactory,” he continued.

“In terms of progress though obviously the team is making some because we were just like a puzzle in Bahrain which was not really structured, so it has a proper structure now and we have a plan for next year how to move forward and I hope we will be successful with this.”

Chandhok meanwhile is hopeful Hispania will be able to challenge Virgin in qualifying today at the squad's second home race, despite being around two-three tenths slower on Friday in practice and a similar amount further back this morning in FP3.

“It was quite a tricky day for us,” Chandhok said after FP2 on Friday. “The first two sectors were good but then we had a hydraulic problem in sector 3 on the option tyre run and therefore no representative ultimate lap time for me. We will have to look at Bruno to judge our pace and it definitely looks like we could be in decent shape to compete with Virgin cars tomorrow.

“The tyre degradation wasn't as bad as Montreal and the option tyre was more consistent as expected. The track will improve a bit more tomorrow so hopefully we can have a productive third practice and prepare well for qualifying and the race in front of our team's home crowd.”

Team-mate Bruno Senna added: “The first session was difficult on Friday because of the track conditions. It was very slippery and therefore not easy to drive. But the grip level improved in the afternoon and the lap times got better. We could do our quickest lap on the option tyres and now we have to focus on the qualifying on Saturday.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Friday Practice1, Bruno Senna (BRA), Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT), F110
Friday Practice1, Bruno Senna (BRA), Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT), F110
Friday Practice1, Bruno Senna (BRA), Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT), F110
Friday Practice1, Bruno Senna (BRA), Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT), F110
Saturday Practice, Colin Kolles (GER), HRT F1 Team, Team Principal
Colin Kolles, Team Principal, Hispania Racing F1 Team
Colin Kolles, Team Principal, Hispania Racing F1 Team

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