Meanwhile in Germany…

While the Formula 1 media in Britain is getting excited about having Paul di Resta as another British driver in Formula 1, alongside Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, over in Germany, the nominally-Spanish Hispania Racing Team is preparing for the season ahead with the principal shareholders, the Carabante Family, continuing to seem out of place and bemused by the Formula 1 world. There is little official information available but it is clear that whatever money the team has is being generated in Germany where team principal Colin Kolles has been working hard not only to help the team survive, but also to produce a new car for the 2011 season. The team says that the old car will be used for the tests but that the new car ought to be finished in time for the Bahrain test.

“The 2011 car will be a completely new car, and will be called F111,” Kolles says. “The F111 is being made by Hispania Racing with several groups of engineers. At the moment, there are approximately 40 designers finalizing the first spec, under the leadership of Geoff Willis as technical director and Paul White as chief designer.”

The manufacturing is being done largely by sub-contractors with Williams F1 supplying the gearbox and rear end, Pankl Racing Systems in Austria providing the drivetrain and the chassis being built in Salzburg by Carbo Tech Composites GmbH. This company has developed rapidly in recent years thanks in part to a deal that it enjoyed with Scuderia Toro Rosso to build chassis in the days when the the Faenza team was using Red Bull Racing designs. A Carbo Tech chassis was thus the winner of a Grand Prix at Monza in 2008 when Sebastian Vettel won the Italian GP.

The company is in the process of being taken over by German automotive group Mubea and will soon be renamed Mubea Carbo Tech GmbH. Carbo Tech was started in 1993 by Karl Wagner and Ernst Zürcher to produce composite parts for racing and the automotive industry. The company expanded slowly, but in 2006 Zürcher was killed in a gliding accident and his shares were taken over by Ernst Wustinger, who had previously been the Chief Executive Officer with Pankl, who had bigger ambitions and began to develop more quickly in F1. Although not much publicised in F1 circles, Carbo Tech signed a contract last year to build McLaren’s composite monocoques which will be used in the MP4-12C road car.

The team has already signed up Narain Karthikeyan with backing from Tata, but it remains to be seen who will be the other driver. Our sources say that the team would love to get its hands on Tonio Liuzzi, but still needs money and thus may have to opt for a pay-driver unless Liuzzi’s drive is paid for by Force India. This would be a logical resolution for all concerned, but cannot happen unless there is cash up front.

“The second driver has not been decided yet,” says Kolles. “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.”

21 thoughts on “Meanwhile in Germany…

  1. From what I hear in India, that HRT is working/worked on a deal with Computational Research Laboratory (CRL) based in the Western Indian city of Pune to use their super-computer for CFD. But this is unconfirmed as yet.
    CRL is a fully owned TATA subsidiary, which is backing Karthikeyan. The the CRL super-computer called EKA was 4th fastest in the world capable of processing 170 TFPs of data when it was commissioned in 2007. The interesting bit is that Force India tied up with CRL in the December of 2009, but to what extent they used EKA for the 2010 season remains unverified.

  2. They will end up with drivers who could not qualify in the top 10 even having the fastest car on the grid. If the 107 % rule applies this year they probably won’t make the field resulting in even more problems.

  3. We in the UK have mixed feelings about the F111, mainly because we suspect we are still paying for it, from the 1960s; The first swing wing jet bomber, which could be mistaken for a Tornado fighter from a good distance (now also being deleted from our air force but still a couple down the road from me at t’camp)

    We shall therefore expect the HRT to have a movable rear wing at very least, since swing wings are banned this year.

  4. It will have to have a movable rear wing in order to qualify under the 107% even if the drivers have to use a string to work it. 🙂

  5. Ah, I get their plan:

    rpaco: good one!

    This looks like Grand Challenge all over again: (has some obvious crossover applications)

    But not to put too fine a point on it, while the greenback remains a major reserve currency and the Fed Reserve’s policy is devaluation, we all get a share of the costs. But i’m all for these big tech pushes. It’s overdue.

    Eric: they were being hopeful with the car name, but are off by 4%.

    Vivek: it was No.4, in ’07 now No.47, see, not that it matters unless they are able to use all of it at a good rate, and good is 40% of theoretical peak.

    I think Liuzzi should grab any drive with both hands, and maybe judicious application of a big wooden stick. But i’d not put it past VJM to want a release payment. Geez.

    – j

  6. rpaco:

    Sorry Fella, got in a twist and assumed you were from the other side of the pond, because i didn’t think we deployed it. (I see a cancelled order, bet we got stiffed for the deposit!) Yup, we’re surely paying for it one way or another. I’d just like us to be half as ambitious. The whole thing with America was they took demob very seriously. e.g. commissioning studies still all too relevant to find out how long it took to learn a new skills . About 10 years. Not one study, but about a dozen, with proper random sampling. Bonus article on how to be suspicious of studies:

    Here’s a neat paper which takes a look at the mess which was our computer industry, specifically Ferranti, sorry i’m simply not up on avionics / aviation like i’d wish to be even casually:

    Click to access J.Wilson.pdf

    Mind you, ARM is either on its way to being the most ubiquitous processor archicture in the world, or already there. Here’s a cool piece of the little feted history:

    We are far too blasted modest, except when it would help us, like not sniffing at North American racecar series quite so much.

    Being bit top heavy, sorry, with the computer references, but hope they have wider resonance.


    – j

  7. What’s with the Liuzzi name dropping again, Joe? I’m sure there are a number of people Kolles would rather have in the car than this bloke (because they’re faster), and none of them will get the drive cause it’ll invariably go to the highest bidder.

    But thanks for the background on HRT, seems reasonable to expect them to beat their 2010 season opener given their current setup, right?

    1. Proesterchen,

      I really do not see why I need to justify myself to you, but I am going to do it so that you understand a little more about how I operate. I really am weary of such negativity (although there are worse than you who are simply rude and offensive. I do not publish their comments). You people need to remember that there is no compunction at all for me to do this blog… You should also have a little more respect for someone who is not doing this because it pays money. The work I do is largely to help fans understand the sport a little more. To make the sport a little more inclusive. Yes, it is not 100 percent altruistic because I hope that it will drive business to GP+, but there are limits to what I am willing to put up with. So, you can have your opinions about what Kolles wants, but you are wrong. I talked to him yesterday. Did you? He wants Liuzzi. Why? Because Colin is smarter than Mallya and understands the value that Tonio would bring to the team. However HRT needs money, so if Liuzzi is to get a drive it must be funded. The obvious answer is for Mallya to settle with Liuzzi by paying for the HRT drive, but it seems he would rather break the contract and screw the driver than behave in a correct manner.

  8. John (other John),
    Thanks for the info, I didn’t bother to check where EKA stands in 2010. But an interesting response.
    The beauty of EKA is that it has been ‘assembled’ with off-the-shelf components. I am not following any news about SCs.
    An aside: Lamborghini and Callaway have collaborated in developing the Razr line of drivers using forged composite. It made me stop and think. Convergence?
    Any thoughts Joe!!!

  9. F111? The Royal Australian Air Force has just retired theirs. Dubbed the Flying Pig it was purchased for its bombing capabilities employing (at the time) sophisticated ground hugging radar. It was the one of the first bombers to employ swing wing technology which caused a whole raft of teething problems. It was the Joint Task Force Strike bomber of the 1960’s as it was the subject of huge cost overruns and delays. The first batch of aircraft were delivered to Australia about 9 years late. Most recoginised in its aerial displays for its fuel dump on after burner. I trust the HRT’s won’t exhibit the same tendencies.

  10. And if for some reason Proesterchen doesnt believe Joes comments above he needs only look at the public quotes Kolles has given on the issue. From 3 weeks ago:

    “Some surprises might happen,” he said. “Maybe some drivers who have contracts might not have seats. We are in a waiting position. We just want to have the best package possible.”

    Theres only 1 driver he could be referring to.

    However if that deal was going to be done it would require Force India/Mallya to be paying, and it would have made sense for them to have that sorted out before announcing their own drivers for this year. We’ll see what happens I guess, but its clear from Joes numerous articles on the issue that someone from Liuzzi’s side of things is not remotely happy with how things are turning out.

  11. Funny, every time I read a news item about HRT in the last couple of months I asked myself the question: ‘Who is actually building their car?’ But none of the F1 publications seemed interested to find it out – until now.

  12. @Joe

    Or maybe Kolles is smart enough to realize that Tonio Liuzzi will have to come to him with a cheque attached and that of the drivers available with said cheque, he’s his best choice?

    Would you posit that if Kolles had the free choice amongst all available talent and could disregard the need to balance the books, he would still take Tonio above everyone else? (I guess it’s not inconceivable to be true, given he was at FI when Liuzzi’s current contract was negotiated.)

    1. Proesterchen,

      Kolles is the man who signed the Liuzzi-Force India contract, so your theory is probably not very valid…

  13. Thanks for this post, Joe — I think you have been the first (first that I’ve seen, anyway) to give details that indicate that HRT actually are building their own car, rather than all the talk of 40 engineers being a Kolles snow-job.

    And the F111 (the flying one) may have been of questionable military utility, but it’s a beautiful machine — almost like a flying Lamborghini Miura, if you can imagine such a thing. I have a wonderful picture somewhere of an RAAF (is it still called the RAAF?) F111 dumping fuel — this lovely aircraft with a plume of flame shooting out 75 yards behind it as the fuel ignites in the jet exhaust.

    Now if HRT’s F111 does the same thing, “the show” really will be livened up…

  14. Finally someone told us what is happening with that car and if someone and who is actually building it. The question of were exactly they where building their car as the claimed, was like a mystery.
    If you are not quoting anyone and you found the company by yourself then i have to say this is a really good job.
    Luizzi wouldn’t be a bad choice for them. At least he doesn’t have to learn the tracks or get used of driving an F1 car like some unknown pay driver will have to do. They could use him a little as a benchmark too. For example if the Indian guy can’t get close to him then they will know his no good.

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