Team boss Colin Kolles has said that Hispania Racing would have had a better chance of challenging Lotus and Virgin during the 2010 F1 season if the team had signed more experienced drivers for its debut season.
The team struggled for results throughout its debut season with its Dallara-designed chassis, which went through the full campaign without any updates after the relationship between the team and Italian company broke up mid-way through the campaign.
It meant the Hispania car was often rooted to the bottom of the times although the team did manage to beat Virgin in the constructors championship thanks to a superior finishing record.
Where both Lotus and Virgin had an edge over Hispania was in the driver line-up, with race winners Jarno Trulli
and Heikki Kovalainen
in Lotus colours and former Toyota
driver Timo Glock
leading the Virgin challenge.
By contrast, Hispania started the season with rookie drivers Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna, although there was more experience drafted in as the year wore on with both Sakon Yamamoto
and Christian Klien
in action before the season was at an end.
That lack of experience is something Kolles feels hampered the team during the season, arguing that the times from the rookie test held in Abu Dhabi showed that the team had the potential to challenge its fellow newcomers on track when drivers of similar experience were at the wheel.
“It was a difficult year but we were the most reliable new team,” he said. “I think the only reason why we did not finish tenth is that teams like Lotus and Virgin had more experienced drivers during the whole season. I think that in testing we showed quite a good performance in relation to the other new teams.
“We improved over the season. Reliability was the first objective. We learnt a lot and hope that from now on we can concentrate more on improving the performance.
With a proposed partnership with Toyota
having failed to materialise, Hispania now faces the prospect of starting 2011 with an updated version of the car used in 2010 and Kolles added that the aims for the new campaign were simple.
“To stabilise the team and to improve its performance,” he said. “We are working to have a better package than last year. From my point of view, the season was not as good as we would have liked it to be in terms of performance and this has to improve. Obviously this depends on a lot of factors but we are working to achieve our goals.”
Hispania has yet to name any drivers for the 2011 season.