Chandhok sidelined, Senna and Yamamoto to drive for HRT in Germany

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Bruno Senna and Sakon Yamamoto will be HRT’s drivers in the German Grand Prix next week.

Senna will return to the car having been absent during the British Grand Prix.

A statement from the team said Karun Chandhok will return to the cockpit “at some later races this season”.

HRT said:

After Sakon Yamamoto gave a very positive performance in Silverstone, the team has decided to give the Japanese driver another opportunity to drive the car alongside Bruno Senna. Karun Chandhok is still part of the Hispania Racing, HRT F1 Team family and is likely to be in the car at some later races this season.

Yamamoto will switch to car number 20 having driven number 21 at Silverstone. He expects to perform better in his second race outing for the team this year:

I have a lot of good memories of the circuit in Hockenheim. I like the track layout with the passing point at the end of the long straight and also the Stadium sector, which is very challenging. There is always a nice atmosphere with the spectators at the grandstands and I am always looking forward to come back to Hockenheim.

Compared to Silverstone, I think we are more competitive and we can achieve a good result again. The last race weekend was very exciting for me. Now, the team has given me another chance to race on Sunday and I will do my best to prove that it was the right decision.
Sakon Yamamoto

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    110 comments on “Chandhok sidelined, Senna and Yamamoto to drive for HRT in Germany”

    1. Anshumaan Tuteja
      16th July 2010, 17:41

      This is pathetic!!!
      What is Kolles doing with the team??

      1. i heard Senna had issues with the boss? where did that go suddenly and now Chandok is out… =/

      2. Yamamoto is one of the owners of HRT…didn’t you know that? :-)

        1. Anshumaan Tuteja
          17th July 2010, 5:25

          @Knotty..i know whose running the show in HRT after this episode..:)
          p.s. how did you make that smiley??

    2. Some kind of rotation policy by HRT, is it? Trying to keep all 3 drivers happy as all of them are bringing in reasonable sums of money?

      1. I think it has more to do with “sums of money” than “Trying to keep all 3 drivers happy”!

        1. I wonder if the drivers and their backers knew about these rotation shenanigans before the season started. The fans certainly didn’t.

          1. I think it was on Joe Saward’s blog in the last few weeks I read that before Silverstone and Bruno’s email, it was Karun who was in the firing line due to missed or late sponsorship payments.

            This may be the actual reason behind this driver change. No matter what the reason though, I’m not very happy with Kolles’ conduct at all.

        2. miguelF1O (@)
          16th July 2010, 20:07

          hahaha yamamoto must be a very spoiled brat is chandok paid by publicity like senna or not?

      2. Anshumaan Tuteja
        16th July 2010, 17:47

        yeah..looks like it…and i knew karun made a huge mistake by signing for this stupid so much money and not even getting to the full season!!!..feel same for Senna also..

        1. I also think this is stupid. HRT should stick with one driver line up for the year and they can keep all three drivers happy by letting Yamamoto drive in Practice sessions like Force India or Lotus do. That way Chandhok and Senna can gain more experience and Yamamoto gets a go too. It’s win-win-win.

          1. Anshumaan Tuteja
            17th July 2010, 5:29

            the doc doesn’t know the meaning of pareto improvement after all!!!(thats a situation when you make somebody better without making the others worse off)

      3. Or just small sums of money and a way to keep all 3 drivers unhappy.

      4. It comes even better. Seems the two guys losing out on the race seats will be driving the team trucks instead, as their team has all 4 of them trained as truck drivers ;-)
        Now that’s a driver rotation scheme HRT have here. I suppose the 4 of them are happy with being able to drive for the team at all events!

    3. At Silverstone: “[Senna] will be continuing to drive in the remaining races of the 2010 Formula 1 World Championship”.

      Today: “[Chandhok] is likely to be in the car at some later races this season”.

      Not looking good for Karun, it seems.

      1. Shame, he’s got a decent turn of speed and seems a nice bloke.

      2. I noticed the different wording as well, it seems that Yamamoto will probably get more races than Chandhok for the rest of the season.

        1. Boooooooooooooooooooooo.

          1. Agree’d last, agree now.

    4. Well if I knew HRT just wanted money rather than talent I’d have started doing the lottery

      1. Second that. I thought Sir Branson would be the first of introducing his, pay – and go to space (or random activity) Obviously, soon we’ll see the likes of Paul Allen and Brangelina racing alongside our favourite talented racing drivers.

        1. lol Brangelina, now that would be something.

          I wonder who Yamamoto will replace next? Kolles? The actual car? That could make it interesting for Bruno and Karun. They couldn’t be much slower

    5. Anshumaan Tuteja
      16th July 2010, 17:58

      Why is it that DR. Collin Kolles is always with a messy team??..or we can put it the other way round..WHY DOES A TEAM INVOLVING HIM GET MESSY??…wasn’t he at Midland or spyker in 2006 and they ditched albers???..history repeats itself!!

    6. Honestly, the FIA should ban this switching of drivers. Teams should not be allowed to switch drivers unless the driver concerned is physically unfit or injured. HRT are painting themselves to be clowns of F1, it is bad for the sport.

      1. T agree completely (see earlier comment). I would completely understand if Chandhok or Senna walked away for another team at the end of the year. I think it would serve HRT right

      2. Jarred Walmsley
        17th July 2010, 8:49

        For races and quali I agree, however to allow younger drivers to get used to driving in F1 they should be allowed to drive in practises.

        Or, the teams must say before the start of the season who will be swapped out at what race

      3. That was a rule until quite recently. Teams had to nominate their drivers for the season and could only change them due to force majeure. That was to stop this sort of thing happening. I don’t know when the rule was dropped or why.

      4. Teams have been swapping drivers for years. Not so much lately, admittedly. Honestly I don’t see the problem. A team can put anyone in the car they want, provided they have the requisite skills, and that’s the way it should be. If you want to run your team differently, go and buy one.

    7. But what do we expect? HRT don’t have a pence…Shame on you HRT!

    8. I really don’t think many of us here will be able to keep such a team, with a very difficult start, running as long as it has so far this season.
      We are indeed living in strange times. While I would love to see fully competitive cars and solvent teams in F1, we must take into consideration the effort it takes to put a team on the grid, for our pleasure, and appreciate sometimes the compromises that have to be made.
      If you want the best driver, put your cash down.

    9. “After Sakon Yamamoto gave a very positive performance in Silverstone”

      Dead last in qualifying and the race is what passes for a “very positive performance” these days? Clearly they must be talking about his marketing performance and not his on-track performance…

      1. Rubbish Dave
        16th July 2010, 18:29

        Hey, it’s not bad by his usual standards (Last by a mile and retiring)

      2. Well, at least an evil spring wasn’t in play, so at least they didn’t get stuck with badoer :O

      3. “Dead last in qualifying” in an uncompetitive car after four years away from active F1 driving is promising indeed. I’m not a Yamamoto fan and I don’t know if money is involved behind this, but I do feel Yamamoto drove well as he wasn’t that far from Chandhok in qualifying and the race. I could well see him out-pace either Senna or Chandhok soon, possibly at Hockenheim.

        Personally, I can’t see why everyone gets so emotional with teams swapping drivers. It isn’t anything new, particularly with minnows teams.

      4. I think by “very positive” they mean “very cash-flow positive”…

        Although — does Yamamoto actually have money? Who are the sponsors? Or is he just a gentleman of means?

    10. Look, do you want HRT on the grid next year? If yes then let them get on with this, there is a lot of smart people in this business and I’m sure they are doing this for there own financial benefit, but i want a 26 car grid next year, so by all means put Brad Pitt in the car but been on the grid next year…. competitive..ish :)

      1. You know what, I fully agree with this. let them make their money from these sources this year, and next year they can work at trying to develop as a team.

    11. honestly, hrt are only delaying their inevitable withdrawal from f1. adios. showing up at the first race with 0 miles on the car was a pretty clear indication this team doesn’t belong in the big leagues, as is being outpaced by gp2 cars. hopefully, hrt throws in the towel at the end of 2010 and frees up senna and chandhok to find legitimate cars.

    12. HRT is becoming a prostitute now with Dr. Kolles as a pimp. One who can pay the money to Kolles can literally ‘ride’ the car. – Sorry for flouting any non-explicit comments rule there

      1. cant be put much better than this

        1. Perfect…maybe soon Yamamoto will ride Kolles??

          1. As it would seem, he’s always done that? According to this:
            He’s been a underperforming child of Kolles most of his life. I bet there’s some sort of love in the air. The exhaust air of every other car that is.

    13. This team is a disaster. Worse: it’s a joke. I remember the BBC commentators pointing out that, at the Turkey GP, the best GP2 cars were quicker than the HRTs! That is poor. Moreover, the team is badly run, ill-prepared for the rigours of F1, and has little chance of improving. This driver rotation policy is evidence that the team might not even make the rest of the season; and serious doubts must be raised concerning their ability to compete next year. I’m not a fan of any of these small teams. And next year we might even get Villeneuve Racing! This is not good for F1. I’m beginning to agree with Nigel Mansell that it might be best if we essentially got rid of the teams and had a standard spec car: we’d get better, closer racing; and we’d see who the best drivers are: Hamilton would win every year.

      1. I remember the BBC commentators pointing out that, at the Turkey GP, the best GP2 cars were quicker than the HRTs!

        I don’t remember them saying that, but if they did they were wrong.

        Senna and Chandhok qualified at 1’31.266 and 1’32.060 respectively. The fastest GP2 qualifier was Davide Valsecchi on 1’34.860. Nearly three seconds off.

        1. The Genuine Jim
          16th July 2010, 21:40

          It was Monaco I believe. They said the top 6 GP2 cars would have been eligible for the F1 grid.

          1. highdownforce
            16th July 2010, 22:00

            IIRC, It was on a Friday only.

        2. Actually, I think I do remember that at turkey, must have been during the race because I was watching on TV. I think Legard said it.

          I’m not sure if he was being serious at the time, But I think I remember getting angry at the TV… ^_^

      2. I’m sorry, but you really have forced me to do this

        #rant start#——————————-
        To Alistair,
        Your comment is quite possibly, the most ignorant comment I have ever read.

        I could be wrong but have you just said that small teams are bad for F1?
        Don’t make me laugh.

        Williams, Mclaren, Ferrari, Mercedes.
        four of the biggest names in Formula one’s history.

        Which one started as a “big” team?
        oh, right, none of them.

        Without small teams F1 would be nothing, Minardi, who at the end was surviving on 19m a year, half of today’s “small” teams budgets, brought us Alonso, Webber, and many others. And has added invaluable amounts to F1’s heritage.

        I think if you dislike the small teams of today, you really have not been paying much attention. remember AGS or Forti?

        Without small teams, the only entrants into the championship could possibly be large companies, destined to leave soon after, like Toyota.

        And that doesn’t bode well for F1’s future.

        Stop stepping on the little guy.
        #rant end#——————————-

        To all,
        I think, this whole HRT thing is being taken out of context. They have a slow car and they have little money. So, it seems logical they run Sakon. They need money, and it won’t come from sponsors who want their names plastered over the car.
        For Colles to run Sakon, he has to drop someone else.

        But, I can’t see them racing in 2011, Unlike Lotus, who has big backers + early success or Virgin who has Branson (nuff said), HRT doesn’t have that kind of cushion behind them.

        1. Yep. Dead right Mike.

          I can remember Bruce Mclaren borrowing bits from other teams, just to keep his car running. Jack Brabham doing the same.

          I remember Colin Chapman hiring out his workshop to other teams to make ends meet.

          In those days, nobody thought any of ’em would survive….

          The rest is history.

    14. Ridiculous, the whole HRT organisation is really backstreet and shady.

    15. Mike "the bike" Schumacher
      16th July 2010, 19:11

      It’s a great shame but we shouldn’t all start attacking HRT and particularly Kolles.
      I hate to see this happen but if HRT have to do this to survive, than good luck to them.
      Don’t forget HRT entered with a €45million cap and although I don’t really like Kolles myself, if it wasn’t for him HRT would probably already have folded.

    16. Well paying drivers are not new,in the 70’s and 80’s it was more then half the grid…word is $9 million is the going rate.

    17. You guys should put up a few hundred million and try running an F1 team. Who do you think supplies all the money when a team is not winning yet? Do you see many sponsor markings on those cars? Needless to say the drivers have to bring a lot with them. Many top drivers got their start this way.

      1. the current incarnation of f1 makes fielding a competitive entry extremely difficult. if i couldn’t go all in (ferrari, mclaren, red bull, williams) then i wouldn’t bother. even with significant funding and in-house resources, there is no guarantee of even mild success (honda, toyota).

        hrt is in way over their heads. tell me, what are they going to do if a chassis breaks, since they no longer deal with dallara?

        1. Forgot Renault there

    18. It’s like a slot machine, you can play ’till you pay. Karun maybe run out of coins.

    19. East Londoner
      16th July 2010, 20:09

      Why does Yamamoto deserve to be in F1? He is useless, slow and.. oh wait, he’s got money (supposedly). Poor Karun, he’s a decent chap.

      1. Yep. Can’t help feeling very sorry for both Chandhok and Senna. Two very decent young drivers who look like they might not have a team to drive for next year.

        Then again, there are quite a few very fast drivers who’ve been hung out to dry by all the massive changes to F1 in the last year.

        Will Heidfeld or Davidson, for example, ever get a shot at real F1 driving again ?

        It’s a bloody tough business that won’t get any easier over the next few years.

    20. I just saw the list of drivers for HRT. They have TWO test drivers but they’ve only let Yamamoto drive. Why hasn’t wotshisname, ummm… oh yeah Klein, not been announced as a driver for a race. Great job at keeping all the drivers happy guys. Oh wait no you haven’t you missed one. LOL :)

    21. BBC are reporting that Yamomoto will be driving for HRT in Hungary too. Why? Unless he out performs Senna next weekend and proves that his place is justified then HRT are making a big mistake.

      With Chandok and Senna there was stability and progress. Of course money has a lot to do with things, but I cant imagine many sponsers will be happy with a consistently and constantly last team. Confusing times.

      1. Why? Because he brought sacks of money.

    22. It seems the HRT team is really cash strapped at the moment. Apparantly Bernie (he’s reportedly linked to Karuns dad) stopped them from taking the “Karun” stickers down from the car on Friday, so Senna ended up without a car to drive in Silverstone.
      After that HRT just put flags on the cars to make it less obvious who they are going to replace.

      I suppose the blocked sale of Carabantes Hispania imperium will have starded a cashflow problem.

      Let’s hope for them this won’t go TWR or Arrows coming end of season. It would be sad to see them go again, and the drivers deserve to get a proper chance at F1.

    23. HounslowBusGarage
      16th July 2010, 21:10

      Karun is a very nice bloke, and seemed to be doing an okay job . . .
      But, if this is what it takes to ensure the survival of the team into next season, then this is what it takes!
      I’d rather see two or three rotating drivers than have HRT fold before the season’s out

      1. I agree with everything you’ve said HBG and think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Kolles has to make sure the team survives before everything else.

      2. Thank God someones thinking about the positives of this situation.

        I think many people are being very harsh towards Hispania and Yamamoto. No one seems to want to give these “pay drivers” a chance. Maybe Yamamoto can bring in decent results in the future.

        1. I think his best result won’t be on the track but giving HRT some more money and some more time.

          1. HounslowBusGarage
            16th July 2010, 22:59

            Yes, a bit of ‘breathing space’.

    24. I think HRT are doing it to evaluate their driver line up for next season. I dont know why people are flaming HRT its not as if it is going to affect the outcome of the championship. They are learning give them time.

    25. “”I expect to be back for races later in the year,” Chandhok told BBC Sport. ”

      “HRT F1 Team family and is likely to be in the car at some later races this season.”

      I expect Yamamoto to get quite comfortable in Karun’s car for a little while. At least it sounds like he could well spend more time in it than he did in Bruno’s.

    26. I think this is now becoming ridiculous. HRT needs two drivers and a reserve driver. Not 3 drivers on a rotating schedule. Senna and Chandok need experience in racing and driving the tracks. This Kolles antics is not helping. Also I am not sure if this is a very productive way of developing a car, as you can’t get consistent feed back. Also developing a car for two drivers style’s is hard enough, but three that is crazy especially for a new team. Sorry HRT but you have no sympathy from me anymore.

      1. Senna and Chandhok also won’t get much experience if the team has to fold. If Yamamoto is bringing money and it is helping the team stay in existence, it is a much better situation for all involved.

        1. I agree that if they need the money then that is fair. Also they constantly dodge that in their press releases. Really making it clear they have very little money. I would bet HRT will not be on the gird next year. Now only Mr. E needs to give the kiss of death.

    27. I heard from @f1scoop on twitter that Klein had money on the table for the HRT drive in Germany

      1. HRT are a Spanish team, not Austrian, so there is no compelling reason for them to let the journeyman Klien drive for them. Unless he brings sacks of cash, of course.

    28. Chandhok for Lotus 2011! Don’t know about Trulli’s contract and how much longer he’s staying on but this would be awesome.

    29. The team were pleased with him not crashing out 5 cars in the first lap. So they gave him another try.

      Please, if you want someone else to drive the car, let it be Klien, because he’s actually decent

      1. Agree Kilen should have got the seat not Sakon.

    30. I never understood how someone like Yamamoto has stack-loads of cash? Surely, if he’s as rubbish as he’s generally proven to be, then why do sponsors flock to him? Is it because he’s reached a “critical mass” of sponsorship that means he will likely get hired by a team?

      On top of that, who are his sponsors? They’re getting a raw deal because I’ve not seen them anywhere!

      1. After seeing Kobayashi success the Japanese investor who don’t have any Japanese manufacturer to sponsor so decided to back someone who have a past F1 record.

        But Chandhok recently made a contract with Jaypee Group the people who are making the circuit in India for the India f1 GP in 2011 then where did that money goes?

    31. José Baudaier
      17th July 2010, 1:25

      Hey, I wanna drive in a F1 race too, how much it is costing HRT?

      1. if you influence Santander you might get a Ferrari drive too!!

      2. I guess $ 5 million

    32. Want to drive a F1 car? Start a new team:)Former world champion Jacques Villeneuve could return to Formula One as a team owner or driver next year after he revealed he had submitted an entry for Villeneuve Racing to become the 13th team on the 2011 grid.

      The 39-year-old has cleared technical and financial checks in his bid to get back into the sport he loves.

      “I’ve never made it a secret that I’m working hard on an F1 project,” Villeneuve told BBC Sport. “But I’ve not discussed the details or what my plans were and I won’t be drawn on it now. I’m not commenting.”

      Villeneuve, who last competed in F1 in 2006, refused to reveal whether he planned to return as a driver, a team owner, or both. At the start of this season, he agreed to race for Stefan Grand Prix only for governing body the FIA to reject the Serbian team’s application to take the place of the defunct US F1 team on the grid.

      The FIA is expected to make a decision on the 13th team at the end of the month with Villeneuve Racing believed to be one of three outfits in the running for the vacant slot.

    33. good to hear this, but i think kolles should let everyone know publicly.. how much money can get you a race seat… maybe one or more guys around maybe interested….

    34. Shame on the team. I think what Chandok should look is to try to make a switch to Force India if they think that they want to drop Luizzi in the middle of the season due to his poor performance.

      1. Chandok not good enuf for Force India…
        if Tonio leaves they will fill him with Paul di Resta or with any experienced driver available.

    35. I see the madness continues. When Yamamoto replaced Senna, we were all up in arms that Hispania had replaced the fastest of their two drivers. But then we had the British Grand Prix and Chandhok walked all over Yamamoto all weekend. So why bother replacing him? Surely it would be wiser to stick Klien in the #20 car?

      1. Klien has got nothing that Kolles likes $$$$

        1. You don’t know that for sure.

    36. i think this is a bit overblown, when you look at Santander Ferrari deal, everyone knew they were buying him no. 1 driver seat at Ferrari…

      if money matters for Ferrari, then why should we view HRT in a bad light!!

      1. I don’t think Santander were buying Alonso number one status at Ferrari. Felipe Massa hasn’t been his usual self since his return from injury, so there’s no way to prove that Santander were buying Alonso a certain status within the team.

        1. Raikkonen would have shattered both of them this year

        2. if i’m Santander & i’m paying that much amount of money… i think i can buy anything… did they buy driver seat for Alonso – yes. did they buy out Kimi’s contract – yes. did Ferrari need that money – yes (during the financial meltdown there were on few big sponsors & Ferrari needed money to keep fighting at top). therefore it’s entirely possible that Santander bought him no. 1 status too… cause money is the fuel…

          also you can observe Alonso… he pretty much owns the team..

          1. and the reason why Santander bought out Kimi’s contract… instead of Massa… is cause Alonso knew that Kimi would be a tougher team mate than Massa…

            1. No, Kimi left F1 because he wanted to rally. What you’re doing here is just making stuff up.

            2. David A – Raikkonen’s contract with Ferrari originally covered the 2010 season. He was bought out of it – at great cost – so they could bring Alonso in.

    37. This ********
      Karun Wass doing so good…

    38. Ahh, driver consistency – the first step to building a competitive team.

    39. Now, I like Karun Chandhok. I also like Bruno Senna.

      But ever since the announcement of Yamamoto as a test driver, this has been coming. Lets face it, if you’re going to bring in a driver to help develop the car during test sessions, there surely must be better options than someone who has started 14 Grand Prix? And HRT are struggling for cash. No sponsor or sugar-daddy is going to be stumping up cash to see their charge tootling round testing various set-ups on a Friday morning are they?

      Klien has done some Friday testing and has made comments about improving the car and he has got approximately 50 race starts under his belt (correct me if I’m wrong!) so he is a more conceivable choice for a test-development driver role.

      However nothing comes for free in F1, particularly at the lower end of the grid where there are cash issues. It is not inconceivable that we see an Austrian in HRT in the near future.

      And lets face it how short is everyone’s memories? Yuji Ide? Riccardo Rosset? Tarso Marques? Alex Yoong?

      And finally, as noted on JA on F1, it takes a lot to decide to bin Chandhok given that he is obviously in the favour of Bernie…

    40. I’d be outraged, but that would be forgetting one important thing: Senna and Chandhok are pay drivers too.

      Hopefully Epsilon will buy into HRT for next year and they can begin moving up the field. Don’t see that happening though.

    41. Why don’t we let a third driver race in one of the F1 races? More of like a driver rotation – we let a third driver race in any of the 1 or 2 events in the calendar. Just to spice up the event.

      If not, then we let all 3rd drivers run on the 1st practice (2nd & 3rd for the regular drivers). :)

    42. I think the current outrage stems from the fact that over the last few seasons, the ‘pay’ drivers have been less prevalent – Piquet Jnr is the only obvious one that springs to mind – so people may have forgotten that buying a seat is part and parcel of F1. While I don’t necessarily like it, I’d like it less if Kolles let the team fold for want of a few extra $$$.Now *that* would be poor team management.

      1. I’m not sure Piquet was a pay driver, I always believed he got his seat based on his GP2 performances and his previous testing experience with the team. To be honest, if Piquet hadn’t been in the ‘Class of 2006’ with Hamilton, he’d probably have won the GP2 championship.

    43. Why can’t the FIA banish drivers who have to bring sponsorship dollars for the “privilege” of racing in F1?

      If you have to rely on pay drivers, you are not a viable team. Go race in one of the junior divisions or find adequate funding.

    44. I hope HRT quits F1 after this season. They are making a joke of themselves and the sport.

    45. Maybe it’s just my opinion, but Yamamoto has always been a substitute driver for backmarkers (Super Aguri, Spyker). Klien was at Red Bull for two seasons (2005, 2006). Maybe Klien would do better than Yamamoto if he had a few races to improve.

    46. Well HRT have no money.

      So if its yamamoto or bust, then so be it.

    47. They’re probably not going to be around for very long.

    48. very strange indeed.

      Would be better to have Klien in that car!

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