Kolles plays down Dallara row

HRT boss Colin Kolles has claimed that apparent criticism of Dallara is the result of misquoting.
Colin Kolles, Team Principal, Hispania Racing F1 Team
Colin Kolles, Team Principal, Hispania Racing F1 Team

Hispania Racing team principal Colin Kolles has insisted that the apparent frustration with chassis builder Dallara has been blown out of proportion.

Following initial disquiet attributed to team consultant Geoff Willis, HRT business affairs manager Manfredi Ravetto is alleged to have told Dutch website Formule1.nl that 'Dallara delivered a total mess', 'built an F1 car with quality that you no longer even see in F3', 'used cheap, lower quality parts in the build process' and was 'not involved in the day-to-day development of the car', but Kolles dismissed rumours of a divide between the two parties.

"I can clarify this," he told journalists at the Chinese Grand Prix, "Obviously, I have spoken with the people involved and I think they have been misquoted and misunderstood, so actually there is nothing more to say about this."

Despite having 'nothing more to say', Kolles later confirmed that HRT is considering pushing ahead with its own development of the car, rather than falling back on Dallara.

"These plans have nothing to do with criticisms of Dallara," he told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, "It was clear from the outset that the contract with Dallara is completed. It ended on the date on which we ran our cars. That we might consider continuing with Dallara is only one out of three or four options."

The former Midland and Spyker team boss was happier to discuss the gradual improvement of his latest charge, which is now showing comparable reliability to its fellow F1 newcomers.

"It was not easy [to build up the team]," he said of the task he was handed following Jose Ramon Carabante's takeover of the former Campos Meta1 project, "It was a lot of work, I can tell you, in a very short period of time. I think people are underestimating what has been done or how difficult it is. Murcia is not really the centre [of the motorsport world], but obviously I was able to put it together. I think I have quite a good network and it was possible with the help of people who were loyal to me over a long period of time."

Rookie drivers Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna ended the opening day of action in Shanghai in 22nd and 24th positions, but Kolles was satisfied that progress was still being made.

"We are a new team, new cars and rookie drivers, so it's not easy, for sure," he noted, "but I think they've done quite a good job in the first three races, not making too many mistakes. Today also went quite well, at a different level to the top teams, of course, but I think that we are improving steadily, so we are making step after step."

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