Team boss Colin Kolles has revealed that Hispania Racing's 2011 car is set to make its debut in the final pre-season test prior to the opening round of the new F1 season.
The Spanish strugglers are set to start testing with its 2010 car before the F111 hits the track in Bahrain in March, with the team currently working on development of the new machine after plans to enter into partnership with Toyota Motorsport were aborted.
Geoff Willis is overseeing the development and creation of the new car, with Paul White as chief designer.
“The 2010 car will be utilised at the first tests, and as soon as the 2011 car is ready, we will implement it.” Kolles said. “The plan is to use the 2011 car at the Bahrain test. The 2011 car will be a completely new car, and will be called F111.
“Last year we didn't have the opportunity to do the tests, and this new season we are able to give our drivers the opportunity to do more mileage and to get used to the Pirelli tyres. So, yes, the Spanish tests are very important for us.”
Thus far, Hispania has only signed Narain Karthikeyan to drive in 2011, with Kolles saying that a number of announcements about the future would be made in the coming week or so.
“In the next few days there will be several announcements,” he said. “The second driver has not been decided yet, because we have to make sure that we are making the best choice. We are making progress in all areas which is positive, working very hard, and the results will be shown and be announced very soon.”
According to the Finnish 'paper Turun Sanomat
, two drivers who were believed to be in contention for the drive - Davide Valsecchi and Rodolfo Gonzalez - have been ruled out of the equation.
Valsecchi in particular was on the Hispania radar after a solid showing in the Abu Dhabi Young Driver test following the conclusion of the 2010 season but is believed to not have the financial backing needed to secure the seat.
Gonzalez meanwhile had tested with rivals Lotus in Abu Dhabi.