HRT to miss race after failing to beat 107% time

2011 Australian Grand Prix

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Vitantonio Liuzzi, HRT, Melbourne, 2011

HRT will not participate in the Australian Grand Prix after failing to beat the 107% time in qualifying.

The fastest time in Q1 was Sebastian Vettel’s 1’25.296, meaning the 107% target time was 1’31.267.

Vitantonio Liuzzi missed the cut by 1.7 seconds and Narian Karthikeyan was three seconds outside.

They will not be allowed to start the race unless the stewards grant them a dispensation. The two cars only covered seven laps during practice.

Virgin drivers Timo Gock and Jerome d’Ambrosio were inside the 107% time by 1.4 and 0.4 seconds respectively.

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    128 comments on “HRT to miss race after failing to beat 107% time”

    1. They don’t deserve to be on the grid, they are too slow and would no doubt get in the way of the cars coming through.

      1. They have in fact, got worse than last year in terms of performance. Dallara at least delivered a car that ran around at a respectable speed for the effort.

        1. They’ve done a minimum of laps…….

          1. they have done few laps to improve their speed.. They deserve a chance to race. maybe for this time only… :)

            1. It is their own fault they have done so few laps, so no – they should not get the benefit of the doubt.

          2. A minimum of laps! They did 7 laps, all in FP3. Saying that the mechanics for the team did an incredible job, as on Thursday their garage looked like a massive unbuilt mecanico set.

            1. Exactly. They hardly had a car designed for start of testing. When the 107% was in previously teams could test. Now get are just up against it.

              I hope they do it just to silence some of the doubters

      2. The decreased safety due to low speed is bogus. In LeMans there are qualifiers 25-30% slower than the pole sitters and no one is whining about safety. Today the F1 grid isn’t really that crowded, so that’s not a genuine concern.

        1. Totally agree.

          However i dont think they should be on the grid for a reason other than their pace, they are a complete embarassment to the sport.

        2. i’m totally agreed. hrt should race.

        3. Mark Hitchcock
          26th March 2011, 20:46

          In FP3 alone we saw Karthikeyan block 2 people whilst travelling at very low speed.

          Add to that the fact that pieces were falling off the HRT every time they ran and you’ve got a dangerous combination.

          While it would be slightly unfair to make HRT miss out on their only opportunity to gain speed, they brought this on themselves by not having a car ready in time for testing.

        4. Thank you.

          I also want to point out what Jake mentioned during the pre-race: even Damon Hill in the Jordan fell foul of the 107% rule the last time it was in use. Was Jordan an embarrassment? I say hell no.

          Do they seem to be slower and worse off this year? Yes. Should they be excluded? I say no. They beat out Virgin in last year’s championship. So I say down with the 107% rule.

      3. no doubt get in the way of the cars coming through.

        Remember in Monaco people were complaining the new teams would get in the way, then then in the end it was a Ferrari in the way?

        Just saying…

    2. It’s not as if they missed the cut by a few tenths. They were way off the pace.

      I don’t agree with the 107% rule but if we are to have it there is no way HRT should be given dispensation to race.

      1. Bigbadderboom
        26th March 2011, 14:05

        Although I don’t support the HRT case for dispensation because they have let this whole situation develop themselves. But a refusal for them to participate surely condemns them to failure, practically a still born team. They need the track time to develop to become better but can’t get the track time because they are not good enough yet. The rule is awful, teams should succeed and fail through their management and success, to deny any team the opportunity is elitest. It has nothing to with with safety or “The show” as some claim, 107% needs to be abolished.

        1. They had the same amount of track time available to them as all the other teams. They chose not to use this track time, they aren’t at any disadvantage.

        2. I can see Andy’s point. He’s said he’s against the rule (as am I and I agree with your reasoning triple B as to why it is daft) but if it is going to be used then HRT shouldn’t be allowed a get out of jail free card. That’s not to say I agree with it which I don’t but if it is in place it should be followed although it’s really going to hurt HRT.

          1. I agree, I dislike the rule very much. But it is a rule, and they have to work within the rules. Of course the Cynic in me reminds me of how the hocky rules bend, but yeah. Rules are rules.

            1. I understand why it is a rule, and why they are enforcing it.

              But as always in the course of human history, most rules are rubbish and ought to be broken.

      2. Well I think the rules are written in such a way that it’s ultimately at the stewards/race directors discretion. I think…?

    3. Given the little amount of time they’ve actually run the car and the gap to even the Virgin cars infront of them, I’d be surprised if they were granted dispensation to run tomorrow.

    4. Sigh, sad really. I think there is something to say that given a race, they might be on the same speed of Virgin, seeing how they are now, with less than 10 laps running, about as fast as Virgin were yesterday.

      However, I can also understand teams not wanting to have to deal with them, not just the fastest teams, but also those lower down, who might fear of having to pass these cars after a pit-stop, and especially Virgin might fear they have to fight them on track.

      1. Virgin will sail past them. This HRT looks even more off the relative pace than last year’s model, which is almost unbelievable.

        The trouble is, with no testing, it’s hard to see how they can fix it. If they don’t run, they won’t get to racing condition. If they don’t race, they’ll never attract sponsors.

        1. The problem isn’t no in-season testing, but HRT’s absence during pre season tests. If HRT actually want to compete in F1 they should have had a car ready for pre season tests.. or atleast for weekend’s friday practice session. I think they will be better off just packing their bags and going home instead of showing up at Malaysia

          1. what’s your problem with HRT? Are you the decision maker of F1? :)

            1. They aren’t Red enough…

            2. Not a decision maker.. not senile enough for that job ;) .

              @Mike. I dont give a **** about Ferrari to be honest As long as they have a race winning car for the driver I support, its all good. Thanks for the expected cynical comment though.

      2. who might fear of having to pass these cars after a pit-stop

        What’s the problem in passing a car that is 6 second a lap slower than you again??? Huh???
        Is it more difficult than passing a 4sec slower car or what?

    5. James Williams
      26th March 2011, 7:46

      As I said in my massive rant. They don’t deserve to be on the grid. They are failures that have themselves to blame. Only themselves.

      what would they have done if the Bahrain GP went ahead? Run around making car noises?

      Pathetic team should be kicked out of formula 1. We don’t need them & never will.

      1. I agree. They already had an extra 2 weeks to be ready and they wasted that. IMO they where already given “another chance” so another free pass should not be given. Massive FAIL.

      2. We don’t need them & never will.

        F1 doesn’t actually need any of the other team though either :P If Ferrari left the sport would survive.

        HRT have been given a chance and they’re doing the best they can in such difficult circumstances. The daft 107% rule is in place so that should appease the many fans who seem to hate them.

        1. But Steph, what would you do without Big Red?

          It’s my opinion that if you fail to meet 107%, you should be allowed to test outside of practice until the next race. My thoughts are split here as I think my solution should be for teams that made good faith in trying to improve their car and tested it preseason.

          Unfortunately, HRT are in a different position as they made none of the testing events. I feel bad for them as they are a new team with very limited funds.

          Participating in F1 isn’t something for everyone. That’s why it’s the pinnacle of motorsport. I think if HRT fails to make half the races, they should be forced to sell.

    6. Does anyone here really think they are going to improve at all throughout the year? Unless the teams and stewards eventually feel sorry for them I seriously doubt they’ll make the cut at ANY of the races. I also think Virgin will miss out on some of them too, particularly fast and technical tracks like Spa and Suzuka.

      1. I must say I think they did a pretty solid job actually. Sure not having the car ready for Friday is bad. Having minimal running on Saturday morning even worse.

        And shedding bodywork parts during Qualifying was a big worry.

        On the other hand, look where they are. After 8 laps (and that is with in and out laps) even Narain is faster than Virgin was with their slowest car in FP1 after 3600 km of testing and Tonio got below 1:33 in even less laps.

        If these cars get some running they really might give Virgin a fight this year!

        1. Agreed. Last yearmthey kept up with the pace of their competitors development-wise, with zero upgrades, all just through setup work. If they can do similar in the next few races, they could get on terms with Virgin at least. They have to do FP running if they want to get the setup though.

          I thought Liuzzi did phenomenally under the circumstances, and am wondering if Kubica wasnt right, after Heidfeld missed Q2 in the same car Petrov put on the third row of the grid! Another thought was that maybe FOrce India let the wrong driver go…

        2. Good call. I wish them all the best.

          Some people say they shouldn’t be in f1. I’m not one of them.

          I for one hope they get dispensation to race, to get some mileage in the cars.

          1. Yes agree with that. they need more time to catch up..

        3. Good comparison, HRT’s fastest lap in real qualifying is slower than Virgin’s slowest car in FP1. This leads to the obvious conclusion that HRT are much better than Virgin?!?

          The most annoying thing about this situation is that the FIA actually turned down applications from other teams for slots in F1 both in 2010 and 2011, despite allowing this joke of a team onto the grid (not to mention USF1). Ok, Virgin aren’t super quick and Team Lotus disappointed this morning but both are serious racing teams, much like Minardi and Jordan a few years ago. There are others out there who could give it a serious shot and deserve the chance to at least have a shot at pre-qualifying as long as they actually manage to build and run a car, which HRT can barely manage.

          1. Ah, come on. HRT guys working their a***s off to get a car ready. No running at all. Setting times that promise at least a fighting chance of the grid.

            Sounds like a team making an effort to me. Had they just used the old car and adjusted it a bit (did they actually have a DDD to remove?) they could have been running a car from test 1.
            Instead they tried to go the Toyota route. Did not get the money togeter, shame. Then at least secured a good drivetrain and went for improving that car. How is that not being serious?

            1. Brilliant summary….

    7. I don’t see how it’s fair to sabotage all of HRT’s efforts. They have paid the money to be there and they are working their asses off to race. The rule may as well be named “F*** you, your too slow, now p*** off” rule.

      1. What’s the point in having an “elite” class of sport if you’re going to hand out prizes for “really wanting to turn up”?

        You can argue that HRT don’t deserve the level of vitriol some people are directing at them.

        But you can’t argue they belong on the grid, because they don’t. For the second year running they’ve turned up at the first race with a car they haven’t even been competent enough to put through testing. Never mind “they’re on a small budget, you can’t expect them to be as quick” – you can’t trust this team to get a car manufactured and tested.

        That’s way past the realms of “not fast enough” and into the depths of dangerous incompetent liability. It doesn’t mean their mechanics work any less hard and shouldn’t be appreciated, it just means that the team as a whole don’t belong in F1. It’s why the 107% rule exists – not to punish people for not being fast enough, but to keep timewasters out of the sport.

        1. I’m not saying HRT dont belong in Formula One, but there shouldn’t be rules out there like this which are blantantly targeted at making life harder for them.

          HRT being “dangerous” shouldn’t really be an arguement. There are other racing series out there where you have the slowest teams much much slower than the front runners.

          1. Damn, why can’t we edit comments here, I spelt “blatantly” wrong.

          2. Who’s making life harder for them?


            They had the same opportunities as everyone else on the grid, but they are not a team who are competent enough to produce a working car in time for the first race.

            They are not capable of taking part in the sport, so yes, they should be excluded. That’s not “targeting HRT”, it’s “HRT failing to meet the standard”.

            People don’t go down to their headquarters and sabotage their car, you know.

            1. The FIA are make life harder for them by having this stupid rule put in place. The way I see it is that you either have HRT in the sport, or the 107% rule, having both together is senseless. What’s the point in allowing HRT into the sport, if they are not going to qualify for any of the races? The FIA are the idiots here, HRT can only do their best.

            2. I think I’m going to get tired of saying this, so one last attempt:

              1) Did the FIA, FOM, or FOTA prevent them from spending last year getting sponsorship and designing a car?

              2) Did the FIA, FOM, or FOTA prevent them from getting to the testing sessions?

              3) Did the FIA, FOM, or FOTA prevent them from getting their car crash tested in good time? (they’re running last year’s nose, you know)

              4) Did the FIA, FOM, or FOTA prevent them from taking part in the Free Practice sessions before qualifying?

              No on all 4 counts. Nobody is “making life hard” for HRT. F1 is a hard business – it’s supposed to be, that’s what the top level of sport is supposed to be about. HRT have failed, two years running to have the most basic thing: A functional car ready for the first race. Stop making excuses.

            3. 1) Did the FIA, FOM, or FOTA prevent them from spending last year getting sponsorship and designing a car?

              -> Yes, they did. Campos, and by extention HRT, were a team designed to work with a budget cap as planned by Mosley. FOTA did protest said cap, therefore ruining the basis on which the team was built. Kolles had to spend last season catching up on getting together an acceptable amount of money.

              2) Did the FIA, FOM, or FOTA prevent them from getting to the testing sessions?

              See answer to Nr. 1 – this is only logical consequence.

              3) Did the FIA, FOM, or FOTA prevent them from getting their car crash tested in good time? (they’re running last year’s nose, you know)

              One could argue about the FIA doing the test in time, but admittedly that would be nonsense.

              4) Did the FIA, FOM, or FOTA prevent them from taking part in the Free Practice sessions before qualifying

              Yes, they did, by hurting their chances. Again, see answer to Nr. 1

            4. Hairs makes excellent points. I feel sorry for all the guys at HRT. Apparently the mechanics spent 40 hours straight trying to get a car ready for FP2 yesterday afternoon. Those guys are working hard, and it must be gutting for them to have the car miss the race. I think the problem must lie with the organisation of the team. I mean surely management should have locked in a design months ago, get it built prior to the first test, get the car reliable, and it a pace where they can be confident they’ll beat the 107%.

            5. -> Yes, they did. Campos, and by extention HRT, were a team designed to work with a budget cap as planned by Mosley. FOTA did protest said cap, therefore ruining the basis on which the team was built. Kolles had to spend last season catching up on getting together an acceptable amount of money.

              HRT entered under the assumption that the budget cap would be €40 million. They failed to raise a budget of €40 million. What happened, or didn’t happen with the budget cap is irrelevant. It is up to the team to raise funds, and they didn’t. Lotus and Virgin have both managed to find funding, hire staff, design cars, pay suppliers, and produce cars for testing and racing. Your point it void.

              See answer to Nr. 1 – this is only logical consequence.

              The other two teams who entered at the same time have not suffered this consequence. Your point is void, again.

              One could argue about the FIA doing the test in time, but admittedly that would be nonsense.

              If you have any evidence that the FIA postponed, or refused to carry out the tests at the team’s request, please provide it.

              Yes, they did, by hurting their chances. Again, see answer to Nr. 1

              You have provided

              no evidence

              that anyone “hurt their chances”. The other two new teams have not had this consequence – that’s not because they got special treatment, it’s because they are competent professionals. Your point is void.

            6. Yes, they did. Campos, and by extention HRT, were a team designed to work with a budget cap as planned by Mosley.

              So were Lotus. So were Virgin. But they adapted and have met the standard to compete.

            7. Yeah but if the budget cap was $40mil, $30mil wouldn’t have been so bad would it?

              Both the other teams have had a much easier run, Kolles had to save the team from certain doom, and so far, well, They are still going aren’t they?

              You guys are ridiculous, you might as well just watch 22 Fer… no, Red Bulls.

      2. Exactly.

        Theyve struggled all winter to get the finances and car together, with a lot of people working flat out to try to get there.

        They’ve made it by the skin of their teeth. Let them race.

        1. That’s just the point. They didn’t make it. They didn’t get their car tested pre-season. They used qualifying, for the second year in a row as a shakedown session for an untested car.

          That’s unacceptable. The issue is not “did they try”, it’s “did they succeed”? They didn’t. Not even close.

          If I turn up next time at the track with a go cart, a tired looking mechanic and a battered suitcase, with a “pity me” look on my face, should I also be allowed to race on the basis that I scraped together the money for my plane fare, and I really really want to drive?

          1. But there is exactly NO obligation to test before the season. Why not let them race?

            Those cars will just stop along the track soon, or run around behind Virgin somewhere. I see no harm in that. Actually they might make an impression by actually making it to the end of the race.

            1. But there is exactly NO obligation to test before the season. Why not let them race?

              Although the 107% rule is rather arbitrary, testing is put in place to help teams get up to speed. They aren’t obligated to turn up, but if they don’t, it’s only hurting their performance.

          2. They failed in winter to secure sufficient funding to collaborate with Toyota. The fallback was for Geoff to work on design and build.

            If you’ve tried refinancing any type of business, or finding investment in the last two years (I have) you’d know it’s bloody hard.

            They have a lot of commited staff working long hours trying to bring the team up to speed. The kolles led outfit is trying to drag the team from what was a poorly conceived and financed start to respectability.

          3. Gotta agree with Hairs. HRT have no one but themselves to blame for the soup they are in. What was Campos thinking when they entered the sport? They just wanted a slot on the grid, and then would organise the funds, long term goals, facilities and team management according to how the situation plays out. F1 is a serious business, and lack of preparation on HRT’s management has got them to rock bottom. There is no reason to blame the 107% rule for anything.

        2. here here. Anyone who claims that they have the same advantages as all the sponsored teams are delusional.

          As for speed, their qualifying was a glorified shake down and they will get better, but only if they actually get some laps in.

        3. i agree.. let them race

    8. But how are they going to improve with no track time and mo testing? 107% worked when they could test elsewhere but now they are just going to fall further behind. Yes there is a safety issue with them being on the circuit during the race but I’d rather see cars on the track than sat in a garage, especially after they have been transported so far.

      1. It does seem a bit inevitable that if you qualify outside of the 107% in one race, you are more likely than the previous use of this rule to repeat a DNQ in later races.

        It looks like HRT are going to have to try and improve their cars in practice since it’s their only track time without a dispensation for tomorrow..

        1. Random thought. I think a simple solution to the 107% rule, add a clause that if you fail to meet the rule you are allowed to do in season testing until the next race to get your car ready.

      2. Yes there is a safety issue with them being on the circuit during the race

        No there isn’t. As Keith pointed out in his article on the rule, at LeMans you have far greater speed differentials between LMP1 cars and GT2 cars, on a circuit that’s much narrower than most F1 circuits, with much of the running in the pitch dark, and those drivers (who aren’t as “elite” as F1 drivers) seem to manage just fine.

        Let them race!

        1. For arguments sake, you seem to have forgotten that F1 cars are open-wheel.

          You also appear to have forgotten what happened to Mark Webber in Valencia.

          1. Seb smashed into jenson in spa…. It’s not just speed. There are drivers behind the wheel…….

        2. The speeds in sportscars are slower (meaning there’s more time for the LMP drivers – and the faster members of the GT brigade – to think about upcoming traffic) and the way its conventions have developed means that there’s a system for dealing with very slow cars. Even they have X% regulations (and sometimes use them against slow cars).

        3. Isn’t it ridiculous on a site called F1fanatic that some posters don’t get that F1 is different to Le Mans.

    9. I’d be disappointed if they were allowed to race, considering I don’t think they are fit to race right now.

      I also noticed Karthikeyan getting in other peoples way a lot out on track. A lot of work is needed to sort this team out.

      1. Karthikeyan would have been getting in the way of Minardis if he was driving a Ferrari.

    10. I doubt the drivers want to have two moving chicanes. Make that two moving chicanes that also shed body work.

      They are stupidly far off the pace. If they’d missed the cut by under a second, maybe you could understand but 3 seconds off (Narain) is just ridiculous.

    11. They closed the gap to 2s in 10 laps with a new car… It is pretty impressive, I would let race them, they really deserved it after 3 days of non stop working. Well done Liuzzi and HRT team!

      1. As much as I disagree with the 107% rule, it’s a part of current regulations. If the rule is here to stay HRT should not be allowed to race. If we were to break this rule right of the bat, we might as well scrap it altogether. This is not such a bad idea, actually, but might be somewhat embarrassing for FIA.

        I think that in current situation it would be good to give HRT one additional day of testing, so they could try to fix the problems with their car. It’s well within the power of FIA to grant them that, and everyone would see that as a sensible move. Is there anyone who would disagree with that?

        1. Virgin might

        2. If we were to break this rule right of the bat, we might as well scrap it altogether. This is not such a bad idea, actually, but might be somewhat embarrassing for FIA.

          Team orders?

    12. If I were in other team I wouldn’t be worrying about their pace, rather about bits flying of the cars, as Kobayashi will tell you. Thats the actual danger I think, as they have only ever done few unrepresentative laps.

    13. Well I have felt ambivalent towards this rule in the past but now I don’t think this is where F1 should be heading. The whole ‘deserving’ argument goes against the ethos striving to improve yourself, you are expected to already be there, at the peak. The safety argument has already been debunked by many on this site.

      …and of course, qualifying pace and actual race pace are two different things. So who should we ‘thank’ for the 107% rule?

      1. Considering the race already has a 111.1% limit and that people expect to have minor or even moderate problems without failing to classify, the 107% rule makes sense. And it was the FIA who came up with it.

        Bear in mind that F1 is the highest level of single-seater motorsport. Therefore by definition it has to be both encouraging of self-improvement and demanding of “deserving” skill level. Otherwise farces result – and Hispania this year is looking like a true farce with or without the influence of officialdom.

        1. “Considering the race already has a 111.1% limit and that people expect to have minor or even moderate problems without failing to classify, the 107% rule makes sense.”

          Sorry I might be a bit slow but you are going to have to clarify the coherence between those two rules because I don’t see it.

          “And it was the FIA who came up with it”

          The IFA implemented it, OK, I was wondering who within the FIA pushed for this rule.

          “Bear in mind that F1 is the highest level of single-seater motorsport. Therefore by definition it has to be both encouraging of self-improvement and demanding of “deserving” skill level.”

          Is that an actual definition of F1 or flattering value judgement? Isn’t the whole point of F1 that the pecking order should be established on the racing track, by the race result?

          “Otherwise farces result – and Hispania this year is looking like a true farce with or without the influence of officialdom.”

          Farce? Is that what it comes down to? I think F1 has seen much worse farces than a team losing by a long way. Actually, HRT finished penultimate last year. That would make Virgin the ones who lost to the farcical, right?

          mmmmmm…. I’ll stick top my guns; let them sort it out on the track.

          1. The 107% reflects peak speed of each car. The 111.1% reflects average speed across a race distance.

            The 11.1% is derived from the fact that only people completing more than 90% of the race laps are classified. Taking into consideration that a) cars generally don’t race as fast as they qualify and b) the slower the car, the more variable its speed is likely to be, then it makes sense that the qualifying minimum is tighter than the race minimum.

            I’m not sure who within the FIA came up with it – the first time was before I had access to the sort of sources that might have told me and the second time it appeared in a regulatory document, meaning anyone from the FIA could have proposed it.

            I wasn’t saying this is the worst farce F1’s had on the track, and Hispania’s finishing position was because it was more reliable than Virgin. Virgin was substantially quicker but tended to break down in those races where there was high enough attrition for it to count. Also, the driver responsible for 2 of the 3 12th places that gave Hispania that 12th overall position got booted out halfway through the season.

    14. I’m really starting the think that the FIA is just trying to get rid of them with this 107%, which is unfair of course. But I agree with all the thoughts about HRT and their F1 privileges, they don’t deserve to be on the grid.

      So this 107% means that HRT flew to Australia for a very expensive shakedown? on the other hand, HRT is not going to make any progress if they won’t race tomorrow so that makes thing for the team even worse.

      1. As much as the 107% rule is crappy, there is absolutely no one to blame for the fact that HRT are doing a shakedown in the second practice session of what was meant to be the second Grand Prix of the year. If you have an F1 team you have to make sure you’re achieving certain targets.

        1. When the Toyota deal fell through they couldn’t exactly go to the local f1 cars r us. And they don’t gave a wealthy benefactor like str, force India etc

          They realised last years car was poor and tried to improve by coming up with f111. But that has taken time.

    15. charlieboy (@)
      26th March 2011, 7:58

      Didn’t think the 107 rule would actually affect anything. I have been proved wrong and the rule is if you don’t make the time you don’t race.

      Why give them special dispensation just too come out and test. Testing is over!!

      1. The rule was invented in times when testing was possible. The whole idea was simple: you don’t race today, you try to improve your car, you test it and try again.

        This does not fit modern F1. Teams gather valuable data during the race. If you are not allowed to race you have little chance to figure out which areas need immediate fix.

        1. Exactly right. If you have in season testing then yes, have the rule.

          I get so frustrated with all of the hrt hating.

          The rules forbid in season testing, so stop any chance these teams have in improving.

          If F1 is happy to take the money, then let them see if they can make the grade. If they don’t they won’t be round long anyway.

          The reason their Season has been a struggle is they had to put a car together at short notice (due to funding problems in financing the Toyota deal). Anyone involved in financing any business will tell you it’s a tough time to find finance let alone sponsors. Give them a break…….

        2. Exactly. When should they get milage on the cars now? Will teams let them do it on Thursday in Malaysia. Certainly not.

          So in effect, they will be starting on the bakcfoot everywhere. Just does not make sense. At least they presented 2 cars to go into Q1, fulfilling their obligation towards FOM.

    16. I have a split opinion on this. Firstly, you have Narain “Tata” Karthikeyan being a typical pay driver. Then you have Tonio, only 1.7s outside the 107% time in what was effectively a shakedown of the F111.
      These two rules (107% and testing ban) will cripple HRT. As previously mentioned, this 107% rule only worked when in-season testing was allowed. The new teams last year used the early races as makeshift test sessions. Now that testing is banned, how can HRT hope to improve their car? A few hours of practice every fortnight is nowhere near enough. They need testing, or the ability to race. Remove one of these rules, and HRT might still be here at the end of the year.
      If we remove the testing ban, RBR won’t dominate the whole season as other teams can develop parts in order to play catchup. The whole point of the FFW, KERS and disintegrating Pirellis was to improve the show. It’s not a show if RBR win everything in sight. Vettel, pole by over 8 tenths? Dare I say it, we may have another Senna in terms of qualifying ability in this young lad.
      I have a soft spot for HRT, but if they carry on like this then who knows what will happen.

      Rant over.

      1. People seem to have forgotten that the testing ban was brought in to help low budget teams by keeping a lid on costs. Suddenly a team fails to build a decent car and it’s blamed on testing limits.

        Given that HRT haven’t even used any of the official test days you can’t blame their failure on testing limits.

        1. Point taken.
          Even so, the 107% rule is designed to keep slow cars out of races until they can find some speed. If a team cannot find any speed because there is no more in-season testing, how is it supposed to find speed? It’s not as if Kolles can hire Adrian Newey with a snap of his fingers.
          The reason they almost had a car in Barcelona test 2 and not at valencia was because they were expecting Toyota to help them. However, HRT didn’t hold up their side of the deal and had to throw a car together a la Lotus last year.
          I’m not trying to justify them, it’s not as if they only had to off-season to design and build 2 cars, they had a fair amount of last season as well after the regs were published.
          There is no excuse for missing testing 2 years in a row.

          1. The worst is, even if Kolles would actually hire Newey they would have no way of getting a car improved testing it only in FP sessions.

            1. I suspect Newey could make that car much quicker without so much as a straight line test.

    17. This is the premier class of motorsport, there’s no room for amateurs and there are no excuses. to have only done a handful of laps before the first qualifying session is frankly an absolute joke. you have to be in it to win it, otherwise what is the point?

      1. So away then with Force India, Sauber, Wiliams, Lotus, Virgin, Mercedes, Toro Rosso and Renault. They are not winning anything this year either, so screw these worthless teams.

        Just in case someone misses my point and feels the need to correct me – I am aware that there is a difference of skill between most named teams and HRT. It’s just pointing out the silly logic by sdtaylor.

    18. hrt have no excuses and imagine if bahrain was not cancelled.
      last year they only made one upgrade to the car(moving the wing mirrors to the monacock) so why have they got a car thats half ready and what seems to be slower than last years.
      with the 107% rule what happens if they DNQ 3 races or more? do they get DSQ from the championship and thrown out of f1?

      1. The “three-race” rule for being thrown out of the championship only applies if there is no attempt to qualify. Hispania are making an honest attempt to qualify, so provided they meet the minimum requirements of entry (basically putting 2 cars on the track every Saturday afternoon and paying the fees each season), they can get all the DNQs in the world and still be permitted to continue.

    19. They had the opportunity to go testing in Valencia, Jerez and Barcelona (2x). They could have taken to the track during Practice 1, 2 and 3.

      Every other team at least managed to get their stuff sorted out, even Virgin did. So why would they ‘deserve’ to be getting in someone else’s way and indeed, shed some weight by losing bodywork along the way?

      Let’s just get rid of these guys.

      1. Although HRT have paid for there way im in total agreement.

        They ONLY have them selves to blame yes we can say they on just shook down there car and how are they going to improve ect but they failed to make use of the pre season testing and even the free practices in Oz

        Simply HRT only have themselves to blame

    20. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
      26th March 2011, 8:36

      I think they should allow Luizzi to start as he was only 1.7 seconds out but Narian was simply far too slow, and considering this was the first running of the car 1.7seconds isn’t really that bad. If however they are consistently this slow when they get back to Europe then the rule should be enforced 100%.

    21. How about 3 DNQs in a row and you have to leave?

    22. Fair or unfair, the truth is that the HRT’s are way too slow and unreliable. They don’t deserve to race. They had a whole year to build a new car and test it on schedule, but no, they didn’t, so it was clear since february that this was going to happen. A month ago their only driver was Narhain Rustykeyan, so what kind of feedback could he gave to the team? Did they go to Australia so they could avoid a fine or else? At least they can watch the race from the pits

      1. Gnarly Racing (@)
        26th March 2011, 9:53

        Yep, it’s all a bit lame for a second year in F1 with the first race cancelled. They were so slow they reminded me of the Mastercard Lolas 12 or 15 years back – and they at least ran throughout all the practice sessions.

        Sure enough, Heidfeld and today’s other rubbish qualifiers are blaming traffic, and there’ll already be enough Lotuses and Virgins wobbling around in the race tomorrow, struggling for grip. Cars that lack grip always seem to suffer at Melbourne.

        “This Could Be You” – no thanks. But give them a chance, let’s see them properly prepared and pounding round all Friday in Malaysia.

    23. Why do teams have to run two cars?

      Bring back the days (1989ish ) when private teams could run 1 car and lets encourage more new teams into the sport then we could have pre qualifying.

      At this rate I can’t see HRT making the end of the season due to the following:

      No testing = No development or understanding the car
      Not understanding the car = Not qualifying within 107%
      Not qualifying = Not racing and attracting sponsors
      No sponsors = No money available to develop the car to be more competitive or have the finance available to run round valencia doing 100 laps per day.

      If small teams could run one car it would be alot lot cheaper for them and why not have a privateer championship?

    24. I also think that HRT shouldn’t be in the race, specifically for two reasons. They won’t get very far, aside from pace their reliability is very very poor and they don’t add to the advancement of F1, they didn’t upgrade their car at all last year. To me Formula 1 is very much about the technology, even a mediocre team such as Virgin is adding to the technological advancement of F1 by purely using CFD.

      Having said this I think what has happened so far in Australia will bolster Liuzzi’s stocks. He has done very well to get the car as close as he did. Sure Narain flatters Liuzzi but he has been nothing but a professional about everything and he will probably give HRT more information to improve the car than most of the drivers that are within HRTs reach.

      My 2 cents/pence.

    25. I can’t wait to see how Collin Kolles will spin this

    26. In my opinion, the FIA must let them race. Sometimes the rules need bending. It would be criminal not to let them compete after so much time, effort and money spent. I’m not saying HRT are not in the wrong. But the FIA should show compassion to help a small enterprise move forward. They have it in their power.

      It’s not like the poor buggers aren’t trying! They’ve been dismal, yes, but it would be even more dismal for the FIA to not give them a dispensation to the 107% rule for at least 3 races. Otherwise, we can all say goodbye to HRT. Many of you would like to see this but any small team has a fighting chance if given a helping hand. It’s a small team trying to make it. Why not help? The pinnacle of motorsport, bla, bla, bla. The sport is nothing but boring without new teams trying to join the grid.

      In summary: yes, they’ve been rubbish. I don’t believe the dampers-in-customs story for one minute. And F1 is not a charity, no, of course not. But many small business struggle. Why not help. It would be a great story. Much better than them disappearing into the void.

    27. somerandomguy
      26th March 2011, 10:24

      Lola 2

    28. who waltzes into the olympics, or world cup, or university rowing team, or marathon, et cetera unable to meet the qualifying standards set by that sport or body?

      for the second year, they have barely managed to take the field in the opening event, this time with an unexpected 2 week delay. what would they have done 2 weeks ago? i guess they wouldn’t have participated at all.

      i understand they were expecting more favorable regulations when they entered the sport on short notice 1 1/2 years ago, but they can’t claim that now. their level of support is nearly non-existant, and the results are subtracting from the whole of formula one. i’d much rather see a 3rd ferrari, mclaren, merc and red bull than these desperately struggling outfits.

      “this could be YOU” it sounds like a warning to the youth. do your homework and don’t sniff paint, or you could end up like this!

    29. L for ”LOVE”
      why even ahve this team in the lineup…
      GP2 for such nonsence.

    30. And they must not let them race… Only way these guys get anything is through others misfortune.

    31. Could this be the the death knell for HRT?

      Could sponsors (I know they don’t have many) soon get fed up with not being on the grid? I think they might.

      Rules are rules and if the 107% rule is there, it should be enforced. It sucks though. Fair enough,the car is desperately slow but if how are they to develop if they can’t race.

      1. I suppose they would have more or less counted on not making it through the 107% here though.

        At least they had a go at a Qualli run with both cars and showed the world they are really trying hard.

        I suppose the cars actually shedding parts did them in together with having no running at all. A real shame they did not let them start, or at least have Liuzzi.

    32. wonder what would’ve happened if the Barhain GP wasn’t cancelled. They surely would’ve missed the GP at all…

    33. Not letting them race is pathetic…good bye HRT, they will never find the time needed now, I predict they fold by end april without even 1 race lap to thier name

    34. Does anyone know when we’ll hear wether they’ll be racing or not?

    35. As usual all the arm chair team owners are ranting, who have only had to negotiate a knock down price at a flea market. When you have shown any ability to fund and run a bicycle club team then I will take you seriously.
      Its easy to complain but not easy to show how it can be done and even less so to do it.
      Typical consumer, too lazy to change the remote control battery.

      1. When you have shown any ability to fund and run a bicycle club team then I will take you seriously.

        what? is there some qualification for being a fan? if i fail that qualification, can i still be a fan anyway? ;)

    36. Kicking HRT out would confirm that the efforts against high costs in F1 is a joke.

    37. I know I’m not the only one out there who predicted this would happen. It was just painful and embarrasing to watch, and if I’m brutally honest they don’t deserve to be a part of F1.
      I admired the team last year, yes they were slow but they worked hard and did ok, but my lord what on earth are they doing! No pre season testing, and no running in practice what a joke! They knew the 107% rule was coming, if they actually took part in pre season testing, they probably wouldn’t be in this mess. There will always be the slow ones at the back, but this just takes the biscuit!

      I remember Minardi in the late 90’s early 00’s, every now and then they would fall outside 107% but they were (still are as toro rosso) proper team, they have the passion to race.

      In regards to the testing ban, I approve of it, but a small history lesson will show that even with in season testing a team can still fall foul of 107%, mid 90’s teams such as Forti, Simtek, and Pacific, those teams only lasted 2 seasons. In ’94 Pacific only managed to qualify in 5 of the races. Then there is the whole Lola farce in ’97, that was embarassing the slowest lola was 16 seconds off the pole time!

      The “new” teams Lotus and Virgin have worked hard and got through, HRT is just a complete joke and should just leave. I know that may sound harsh on the people in the team but they should just not bother packing up the it for Malaysia

      I was worried about this team even before they turned a wheel, when the original new teams were announced, (USF1, virgin and HRT) USF1 is totally another story, yes a farce, as they never built a car, but HRT to build a car, not test it, not run in practice, and not qualify is just a joke, and the way F1 is today you cant get away with it, they are a waste of a space, another team out there deserves their place in F1.

      They should have taken a leaf out of Super Aguri’s book! In ’06 they used a 5 year old Arrows chassis, they were slow but after a year of learning (and the help of a Honda 2006 chassis) developed and brought something to F1, anyone else remember
      Sato passing Alonso in Canada 2007 to bring home some points? Yes Super Aguri were not a fantastic team, but they brought somthing to F1, HRT bring to F1 NOTHING…except embarassment. I feel sorry for the mechanics and thier hard work wasted.

      And just to add to my frustration with this team..Narain Karthikeyan! I don’t even want to get started on that one!

      1. They should have taken a leaf out of Super Aguri’s book! In ’06 they used a 5 year old Arrows chassis, they were slow but after a year of learning (and the help of a Honda 2006 chassis) developed and brought something to F1, anyone else remember

        Teams aren’t allowed to use chassis from previous seasons in this fashion any more.

        1. Oops! I had forgotten about that whole customer cars stuff!

    38. I don’t have a problem with the rule, but there needs to be a fair mechanism that allows them to catch up, such as an exemption from the testing ban (within certain limits). At the next race, HRT will be even further behind than they are now. If they’re not good enough to be in Formula 1, fair enough, but without on track experience, how are they supposed to find out what areas need fixing?

    39. Disappointed for them, really am. They will only get better with running however given that they were so far behind, especially Karthikeyan, they could be a hazard to others. I’m not sure if those times would be representative of race times but I guess people don’t want to take the risk.

      1. it isn’t the rule’s fault they didn’t have a car assembled until very nearly the second scheduled race had started. i’d say there’s plenty of room for improvement right there.

    40. Elliot Horwood
      26th March 2011, 17:58

      HRT just went purple on their way to Melbourne airport. Well done, lads.

    41. I also wanted that.There were talks that the FOTA may allow them to race but I think that would have been bad.Not only were they slow I think I saw pieces of the car coiming during the qualifying session.They need to think a lot until they come in Malaysia.

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