MARCH 25, 2011
HRT battling to get out in FP2
Hispania Racing Team did not contest the opening session of free practice at the Australian GP as the team is still completing its car build.
The team was scheduled to be at the final Barcelona test but was unable to run after its Penske dampers, which had been flown in from the USA, were detained in customs. There is a suggestion, however, that had the customs bill been paid ahead of time, they would have been released.
In Australia the team has broken a curfew that bans teams from working on cars for a six-hour period beginning 10 hours before the start of the first session of practice (so, in Australia, between 2.30am and 8.30am as FP1 began at 12.30pm local time Friday). It is designed to prevent mechanics becoming over-tired but teams are allowed to play four 'jokers' a season to disregard it and carry out unforeseen work.
This year's HRT, overseen by technical consultant Geoff Willis, is an updated version of last year's monocoque, including new crash panels, mated to a Williams gearbox, a newly-designed rear end and significant front suspension changes and a new aero package. The new front wing, however, has not been completed in time and the team will run the old one in Australia.
Team principal Colin Kolles came through Australian immigration with a lot of boxes containing car parts and the team is currently battling to get one of its cars out in FP2, but there is no chance of the second car running before Saturday.