HRT’s inexperienced driver lineup is a “disadvantage” for a new formula one outfit, team boss Colin Kolles has admitted.
Of the three new teams on the grid in 2010, Hispania is the only one that arrived in Bahrain for its grand prix debut with two rookies.
Kolles told Finland’s Turun Sanomat: “I am pleased with what (Bruno) Senna and (Karun) Chandhok have done, but it is useless to deny that their lack of F1 experience is a disadvantage at this point.”
HRT has now signed former Super Aguri and Spyker driver Sakon Yamamoto, who also tested with Renault in 2008, to drive on the Fridays of grand prix weekends.
But even the 27-year-old Japanese is bringing sponsor funding to his cockpit.
“We could not afford to hire drivers like Jarno Trulli or Heikki Kovalainen, as Lotus did,” Kolles insists.
“We have to take drivers who are good but who also come with budgets,” added the Romanian-born German, who said Yamamoto will take HRT forward “because he has more experience than Bruno and Karun”.
The team has announced that some new parts will be on the F110 car in Barcelona, but Kolles admits that “much work is needed to make our cars faster”.
The end of the Dallara chassis contract has complicated the development process for the 2010 car, but Kolles said HRT will shortly announce a deal with a wind tunnel so it can develop its own aerodynamic pieces.
“Our competitors have quite a lead on us but I still believe that in the end Hispania will be the best of the new teams,” he insisted.