HRT lands Mercedes windtunnel deal

HRT has concluded a deal to use one the spare Mercedes GP Petronas wind tunnel in Brackley, which is not being used by the German-owned team because of the Resources Restriction Agreement. This will allow the team to develop the new car in the months ahead. The team will have its new nose this weekend and there are plans for a string of new parts for the Chinese GP and the team is confident that it will have a better weekend than in Australia.

34 thoughts on “HRT lands Mercedes windtunnel deal

  1. The question is will they remain in the sport for long enough to use it.

    They appear to be pinning their hopes to their new ‘2011’ nose this weekend, but they were a long way from the 107% qualifying mark in Australia.

    If they werent to qualify for this race I wonder how much longer they’d last. Will HRT turn up when F1 returns to Europe in May?

  2. Cancel that last one –

    In all honesty – good luck. They’re going to need it.

    Amusing though that the barriers to entry into F1 are getting higher all the time – as if it’s not bad enough that Wirth is proving that simulation can’t quite get everything right, if a team somehow designs a stinker then they’re practially unable to develop it because of the restrictions.

    If you’re McLaren/Ferrari etc then you can just develop to your heart’s content and bring new parts every weekend, bolt them on and see how they run. Smaller budget teams are squeezed out more than ever before.

  3. Josh – currently the top teams effectively race a different car each weekend, what with new wings, new floors and so forth.

    Maybe the way to make the resource restrictions work is to make the teams race the same car all year. Obviously engines, gearbox (and the steering rack for Monaco) would be swappable as at present, and things like suspension components would need to be swapped for safety, but lets approach these cars as… well, cars.

    You don’t swap out your bumpers and doors whenever you get your oil changed, so lets make the constructors make the best car for the season, not the best car for each race…

  4. HRT might as well upsticks and move to the UK. They’ll not only have better access to their wind tunnel & Cosworth, but they might be able to tempt some experienced F1 engineers/mechanics to move to the team.

    As for Worth, he was on a looser as soon as Branson came aboard with his ridiculous sponsorship plans.

    1. Jonno,

      His name is Wirth and Branson’s sponsorship plan is actually very clever. He gets coverage for very little money.

  5. It seems like there’s a contradiction here. It seems remarkable to me that the RRA and ban on in-season testing seem to be aimed at lowering the barrier for new entrants (i.e. to stop the top teams with surplus money running away with it), and yet now the 107% rule pretty much raises barrier insurmountably.

    With a ban on in-season testing, any team that can’t get within 107% of pole can’t do any testing at all other than practice – since they don’t even get to test out their new parts during the race.

    I can’t see their being any new blood coming into F1 while the 107% rule continues to exist, as I can’t see any financial backer in their right mind willing to gamble that a brand new team can put a car together that can get within 107% of pole when they can’t do any development or testing outside of the official tests and GP practice.

  6. Makes you wonder why Mercedes don’t follow the lead of a ‘certain’ other team, and lease out their 2nd wind tunnel to a ‘supposedly’ separate company, and then rent it back … As Resource Restriction spending on outside contracts is rather lax 😉

    Maybe that’s why costs have gone up 9% under the resource restriction, and the reason teams want 75% of F1 revenue … Oh dear ticket prices will have to go up again.

    Rumours that Hispania may be sold to a Korean consortium, if the price is right, however the major sticking point seems to be that Jose Ramon Carabante would still want to be in charge.

  7. You know what a good idea would be? To give every team that has yet to score a point in the current worldchampionship unrestricted testing. Not that this would help HRT, because even if they could, they could not.

    You can even take this further. You could even give every team a couple of testdays, lets say, double of what is allowed now. And for every point a team score, a testday gets subtracted.

    1. Julian F,

      You need to revise your ideas here. There are some very serious people at HRT. Unfortunately at the moment the owners are not included in that grouping.

  8. We need a new rule that if a team fail to qualify both cars they should be allowed an additional day testing before the next race…. this would help them catch-up without giving additional testing to the established teams

  9. Either Mercedes take open ended IOU’s that might never be repaid (like 25yr bonds from the Nigerian Govt!) or they’re happy to take payment in the form of M&M’s and jelly babies.

    Why don’t the HRT boffins (if they have any) just analyse photo’s of the top teams cars and mimic their designs? Can’t be any slower than what they have now and they might hit the jackpot without spending much at all. Genius!

    …I’m taking my cynic hat off now.

  10. I’m guessing that Mercedes must have offered them a bargain price.
    The reason I say this is because the Toyota facility is a lot closer to them, and wouldn’t their gearbox suppliers Williams have a spare tunnel too?

  11. @Josh, but if you could spend whatever you liked, then you might end up with 2 smaller teams with rich owners pouring money into development for no real reason. I think it helps focus the development, HRT are hardly bumping up against the maximum budget are they?

  12. I wish Colin Kolles and the team all the good fortune they can muster and best wishes for the future.
    All they’ve got to do is get rid of Crabante. How about TATA Racing next year with a proper budget, please dont use the Jaguar name until you do it justice Colin. Or for a laugh what about Team TATA.

  13. Laugh or not f1 needs hispania racing team, even though eccles dont want them in f1. F1 is in a terminal decline because of the budget gap, hispania is going have to try the best it can with the resorces its got, all very well to pick on the little guy, at least they are brave enough to try,i hope the new wing will help them as they havent really been given a chance.Remember eccles was quick enough to take the cash and he is not very honourable by not sizing them up…

  14. As a general reaction to this ongoing story – what is the situation when a team applies to join the F1 championship?

    The FIA promotes F1 as being the very pinnacle of motorsporting excellence across all the various disciplines.

    Presumably, therefore, it sets minimums in terms of finance, and overall management and engineering competence, not to mention experience and historical performance, that an applicant must satisfy in order to be considered.

    Is that actually the case – or do they just say there’s room on the grid and that’s the height of the performance bar at the moment so if you fancy it, pay the fee and good luck.

    A bit trite but you get the point. We hear a lot about the importance of career development and importance of building experience in lower categories and progressing upwards towards the pinnacle – which is F!…

    I’d be interested to know what actually does happen – and what the mechanism is.

  15. Joe, this information seems to indicate spending levels beyond the common understanding of their funding?

    Good for them if they have found new sources of cash!

  16. the 107% rule seems self-defeating. cars must turn laps to assess the success of their design, development, and drivers. with little testing time available, race laps are important. for struggling teams to improve, it is important to spend as much time on the track as possible. i hate this rule. if the FIA wants HRT and other teams to be competitive, allow them to compete.

  17. Was HRT really so bad in Australia? I mean, yes, it is deplorable and sad to have a team in F1 that can’t make it to test days, that doesn’t get a car on track until P2 and P3 of race day.
    But Liuzzi was, what, 108% off Sebastian Vettel, in a car that had been on track for one warm-up lap.

    Perhaps I only find their Australia quali times admirable because my expectations were so low.

    I do have one question about the 107% rule, if you would Joe. Are there any formal exceptions, or is it always up to the stewards discretion for letting someone over 107 in? I’m thinking of Alonso in Monaco last year. Would the rule this year really keep a contender out of the race in such a situation?

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