Sorry to say, this isn’t it. But it is hilarious, nonetheless. Please, please make sure you’re sitting down when you read this:
Bruno Senna admits his Hispania’s team financial difficulties have been hitting the Spanish squad’s plans to develop its car.
The lack of resources, however, has meant that HRT has hardly been able to develop its car during the season.
“I think the financial restrictions cause more difficulties in terms of development of the car, it’s the most disturbing aspect,” Senna told Brazilian media. “The team has conditions to run until the end of the year.
“But it’s not like Red Bull, which can test big things on the weekends. We have new things less often, and in Formula 1 one has to constantly develop in order to remain competitive.”
Knock me over with a feather! HRT’s financial difficulties, the one that has dropped Sakon Yamamoto into a seat, has hampered the team’s development? I’m shocked! Quite shocked, indeed.
But that’s not all Senna had to say. And this might be approaching useful for fans:
“Few of the current teams have guarantees of being there next year without having doubts,” he said. “This moment in Formula 1 is not easy.
“Although I would love to say the team will be there next year, I think Hispania and other teams can have the same answer “it’s not that easy”. But I reckon they are planning of course, but that planning it’s not my job but theirs.”
In other words: It is hard as heck to bring a new team, without major (manufacturing) backing onto the grid — and keep it there.
I think this raises a mildly interesting point (and mildly right now is super interesting given the recess!). We clearly have a variety of “breakdowns” in the F1 grid. In terms of performance (and points), Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari are the top three; Mercedes wants to be there, but probably is battling at the top of the midpack with Renault and then, maybe, Williams and Force India. Sauber and Toro Rosso are somewhere next. And then come the new teams: Lotus, Virgin and HRT.
But then look at the teams with some sort of “manufacturing” backing — which doesn’t necessarily mean “huge” financial support: McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Lotus (defining this loosely). Red Bull, Force India and Toro Rosso all have well-defined engine deals. (Sauber, kind of does, although it doesn’t strike me as anywhere near as deep.)
What about teams with what we’d consider huge budgets? Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull. Then maybe Renault and Force India?
Or the teams with a non-manufacturer as the backer? Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Virgin.
My point becomes, by nearly any definition, HRT is the lone wolf. Unlike the other two “new” teams, it doesn’t have that major marketing business or a brand name tied to it. It obviously doesn’t have a big budget. You probably could figure Cosworth wouldn’t miss the relationship.
All that sounds like, in 2011, we very well could be missing HRT.