HRT is a Spanish Formula 1 Team originally owned by Adrian
Campos. Campos sold the team to José Ramón Carabante before its
debut race at the 2010 Australian Grand Prix. The team were
formerly known as the Hispania F1 Team before changing names for
the 2011 year. HRT are, so far, the only Spanish F1 team to race in
Formula 1. The team have been owned since July 2011 by the Thesan
The team began with a deal between Adrián Campos, of Campos
Racing, and Enrique Rodríguez, of Meta Image. They created the name
of Campos Meta. Campos run a F3 team and used to run a team in the
GP2 series before it became Addax Team. Campos was running the F1
operation, alongside Spanish sports agency Meta. The team formation
began in February 2009 and by October they had a number of
shareholders, partners and had permission from the local government
to build new facilities. In June 2009 the team, alongside US F1
(Which never entered F1) and Manor Grand Prix (known now as
Marussia F1 Team), were named as one of the 3 new teams in
2010. They confirmed Bruno Senna would be driving for
In December 2009 Berne Ecclestone raised concerns over the
Campos team. He feared the team would not be ready for the
first race of 2010. The team admitted to being underfunded and
struggling with finances and several buy out deals were rumoured.
They missed all of the winter testing. In February 2010 it was
revealed majority shareholder José Ramón Carabante had taken over
full control of the team from Adrián Campos. He had also drafted in
ex-Spyker F1 Team principal Colin Kolles to fill the same role. The
team were renamed Hispania Racing F1 Team but many abbreviated it
to HRT. The name was chosen for its link to Cerabante's company
Grupo Hispania. On the 4th March it was revealed Indian
Karun Chandhok would race for the team. On the same day their debut
car was revealed, called the F110 - which was Dallara designed and
Their first race weekend was a shambles. With no winter testing
the cars first laps were during the first practice session, with
Bruno Senna at the wheel. He completed 3 laps in FP1 and 17 in FP2.
Contrasting to Senna's "Success" Chandhok's mechanics were unable
to get the car working. He had to wait for the first Qualifying
session to set his first lap and he lined up 24th on the
grid, behind Senna. Senna was 8 seconds off the front running pace,
with Chandhok 1.7seconds behind. In the race Karun crashed on the
2nd lap, blaming inexperience of the track and car,
while Senna made it to lap 18 before he retired.
The 2010 season was a difficult one. The early races were tough
and the car was off the pace consistently. The 2nd round
saw Chandhok take the cars first finish in 14th place.
They had closed up on the field but were still 7 seconds
behind. A double finish in Malaysia and China but from then
on their reliability was poor. Sakon Yamamoto, the teams reserve
driver, took Senna's spot at the British GP before Senna returned
for the following round. Instead however Sakon replaced Karun for
the next 4 races before another swap saw Christian Klien take his
seat for the Singapore GP. Yamamoto and Klien then raced in 2 of
the 4 races each. The team's best 2010 results were Chandhok's
14th place finishes at Australia and Monaco, sharing
that feat with Senna's 14th in Korea. This left them
11th in the constructor's championship after having more
14th place finishes than the Virgin team.
2011 started just as disorderly as 2010 had. The team were
rumoured to be up for sale a number of times, they signed a deal to
race the 2010 Toyota which never made it to F1 but the deal fell
through after HRT did not make the payments. They parted with
Dallara and pursued a new chassis supplier. The team also "left"
FOTA with an excuse of the organisation being bias to the larger
teams. However FOTA stated that the team were expelled from the
organisation after not paying the membership fee.
Narain Karthikeyan confirmed in January he would drive for the
Hispania, better known by then as HRT, team. The team also
considered Vitantonio Liuzzi for the remaining drive and he
completed the 3rd winter test in the 2010 car for them.
On the 9th March it was confirmed Liuzzi would be the
team's second driver. The 2011 car, named the F111, debuted
in the 2nd practice session of the opening Grand Prix in
Australia. A new 107% rule had been put in place for the 2011
season and both drivers failed to make the cut in qualifying,
meaning they could not take part in the race. The team showed
improved pace in Malaysia with Liuzzi just behind the Virgin cars
in qualifying. Both cars retired with mechanical problems, but the
next race in China saw them finish 22nd and
After a shaky start to 2011 the team soon closed in on the
Virgin team. Retirements however were not far away. For the British
GP Karthikeyan was replaced by Red Bull backed Aussie Daniel
Ricciardo. The young Red Bull protégée and Liuzzi were evenly
matched and took it in turns to finish or qualify ahead of one
another. Liuzzi was dropped for the Indian GP to let Indian
Karthikeyan race at his inaugural home race. The team finished
11th in the constructors thanks to Liuzzi's
13th place in Canada.
The 2011 season also saw the Thesan investment group buy a
controlling stake in the team. In 2012 the team wanted to become
"more Spanish" and employed experienced racer Pedro De La Rosa to
be one of their drivers. Colin Kolles also left the team.
Previously known as the co-founder of F1Lite (a Twitter-only
service), Alex Norton joined PortalF1 as the English language
editor in January 2012.
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