The HRT team has passed all finally completed all the necessary crash tests with its F112 and is now racing to try to get a chassis together in time to take part in the final tests of the winter in Barcelona next week. This ought to be possible as several teams have plans to start and finish the session later than planned. The team has been struggling with the roll hop test, but has also had trouble with others. If all the necessary parts can be put together in time – and this will largely depend on whether or not suppliers have delivered the goods (and been paid). Whatever the case the team is not going to be going into the new season with a car that is ready, which will have knock-on effects for the performance in the first few races.
And while scrambling into the final test might give the more nationalistic supporters of the team the idea that there is something to celebrate, it is not at all the programme that was originally announced, underlining the fact that the team’s expectations were more than a little over-optimistic.
Hopefully there is now a little more realism in the programme and the team can settle down to develop the car in a sensible manner. This is not going to be an easy task because the team is also in the process of trying to set up a new headquarters in Madrid. It remains to be seen how much will be done there as the team will need to recruit a new design team and create a new manufacturing structure, unless it decides that this is too much and stays with the existing arrangements in Germany. While much of this will depend on funding, it is also going to be a question of logistics and recruiting as there is not an obvious pool of experienced F1 talent in Madrid. There is not much more in Spain and trying to convince other nationalities to join the team is going to be expensive.