As someone who always has a huge interest in the story of the ‘underdog’, the HRT Formula 1 team has gathered alot of my attention in recent months. Formerly known as Hispania Racing in 2010, HRT has attempted to survive in Formula 1 on a relative shoe-string budget compared to much larger competitors.
It shows with results on track as right now, as HRT cars are only seen on-screen when they are being lapped by the leading cars several times through a race.
In the last two years of competition, Hispania/HRT had not been able to get their car running on track until the first race of the season, missing all pre-season testing. This problem was mostly down to a low budget, and a lack of technical organization prior to the season opener. This year, HRT have made a small step forward by being able to have the 2012 car, the F112 , take it’s first laps on a media day, only one day after all of the pre-season tests had been completed.
Any step forward that you can take is a good one, right?
The Spanish team has gone through several management changes and drivers switches in the last two years in the attempt to find their footing. The team has even changed headquarters to Complejo Deportivo Madrid Caja Mágica, which is unorthodox location as it is outside the ‘beltloop’ of Formula 1 factories based in the UK.
However all of these changes make it hard for HRT to keep any form of consistancy.That instability has caused HRT to become highly unpopular the majority of Formula 1 fans, many of them deeming the team ‘too slow to race’ in F1.
By being a small team, they do have some opportunities that they could attempt to leverage. For example, they could attempt to develop a relationship with a more established Formula 1 team to exchange technical ideas. They could also attempt to develop a greater social media presence in order to grown greater awareness and sponsorship,. (This way, fans wouldn’t just see them as bumbling misfits at the back of the grid.)
However it would feel that they are simply copying their closest competitors of Caterham and Marussia, who have already moved forward aggressively in these areas. The challenge is for HRT to find a unique opportunity, which would provide them with the ability more than just to survive in Formula 1.
So that all being said, does HRT have a chance? (Repond in the comments or on Twitter if you have an opinion!)