HRT: Upgrades should help us beat Virgin in Turkey

2011 Turkish Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Vitantonio Liuzzi, HRT, Shanghai, 2011

HRT have set their sights on beating rivals Virgin in the Turkish Grand Prix.

The Spanish team, which did little development work during 2010, are bringing “aerodynamic and mechanical updates” for the Istanbul race.

Team principal Colin Kolles said: “I believe that the Turkish Grand Prix should see Hispania Racing take the next step.

“Istanbul Park is a track that, due to its nature, should be favourable for us, add to that the fact that we have aerodynamic and mechanical updates for this race and I think that, if the data is confirmed on track, we should be able to beat our closest rivals.”

“Our aim for the weekend is to close the gap with respect to our closest competitors in qualifying and fight for positions in the race, hopefully getting both cars over the finish line. Hispania Racing has made significant progress since the start of the season, we are working very hard to improve and definitely will improve”.

Vitantonio Liuzzi said the team can “surprise” people in Turkey:

“Our target for Turkey is to verify that our updates are working as per plan, closing the gap on the leader and obviously finishing the race ahead of our direct competitors.

“If everything goes to plan, I think Hispania Racing can surprise a lot of people by closing the gap considerably with respect to other teams thereby showing how serious our intentions of growing are”.

Liuzzi was around a second off the quickest of the Virgins in qualifying in the last two races in Malaysia and China.

2011 Turkish Grand Prix

    Browse all 2011 Turkish Grand Prix articles

    Author information

    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...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    52 comments on “HRT: Upgrades should help us beat Virgin in Turkey”

    1. Give us a HaRTfelt comeback for Turkey guys. Looking forward to it!

      Hard to tell how much it will really bring, but as they were not that far off the Virgins in Qualifying last time round they could beat at least one of them here.

      And maybe stay on the lead lap for a bit longer in the race? At least they show the spirit of not giving up and improving themselves. That alone shows they do belong in F1.
      And just think of the guys working there, having to do a lot of the hard work. Who knows, maybe a few years from now we will be talking of the new Newey and his humble start at backmarker HRT!

      1. That’s Virgin on the ridiculous.

        Virgin really need to get some results, they’re starting to look like they’re not trying hard enough, which I’m sure they are, or they just simply don’t have the best approach.

        1. But it seems Virgin is taking half a new car to Turkey as well, at least for Timo that is.

          1. Is it another update like the “limo” last year, where they can’t even get enough parts built for both cars?

        2. At times they strike me purely as advertising for Branson and that’s it. Yes, that’s somewhat stating the obvious, but a bit of ambition doesn’t hurt.

      2. Douglas62500
        2nd May 2011, 17:31

        I am really starting to think that this team does have got some potential hidden deep within them, I mean after Geoff Willis arrived it’s like Ross Brawn arriving at Honda. The team started to pull together from a brink of financial and technical disaster. I have hopes for them !!

    2. Am I right in thinking this is the first in season upgrade HRT have ever brought to the car? They didn’t even have a special rear wing for Monza last year…

      1. They did change their mirrors last year: they started the season with sidepod-mounted mirrors which were then banned by the FIA.

        1. it’s debatable if that was really an “up” grade

          Virgin say they have big upgrades too. Let’s see who’s is better

        2. That was a legal requirement. If they didn’t do it, they wouldn’t have been allowed to race. Doesn’t qualify in my books.

          1. I wouldn’t call it an upgrade, but I would call it a chassie modification.

      2. Indeed, HRT made all their improvements through setup rather than new parts. They did a fantastic job last season.

        1. But we saw it was the wrong method, and this year they seem to have understood it.

      3. I read somewhere that that they changed their fuel delivery components at one point last season which was when they started finishing races consitenly (if not 3 or 4 laps down)

    3. Sound_Of_Madness
      2nd May 2011, 8:56

      Not meant to spoil any party, but since HRT are around 0.5 off Virgin, and Virgin expect to bring 2 secs at Turkey (lets say even the half of it works)… HRT should bring a bit more than 1.5 secs to beat Virgin…

      1. 2 seconds? You sure bout that mate?

      2. Well, Virgin seem to only have enough for one car, leaving d’Ambrosio with the older version. Very clever of them, as that gives both HRT and Glock’s Virgin a nice benchmark to test their progress!

    4. HRT have set their sights on beating rivals Virgin in the Turkish Grand Prix.

      Good luck, guys – Virgin are bringing their own upgrade. And according to team personnel, it’s a doozy: new front and rear wings, Toro Rosso-style double floor, Red Bull-esque rear end pacakging and more. They’ll only have it for Timo Glock (Jerome d’Ambrosio will get his own upgrade later, probably for Spain), but I’d be suprised if Hispania can beat such a comprehensive upgrade.

      1. There is a very high chance that none of those upgrades will work for Virgin. Virgin seem to have got a lot of things wrong right from the start, I do not see why they would have a lot of confidence in this upgrade package.

        1. I do not see why they would have a lot of confidence in this upgrade package.

          Because they have nothing to lose. They’ve milked the MVR-02 to the extent where they have drawn everything they can from it. Conventional upgrades aren’t going to do anything for them. They have to go to new extremes. So instead of changing one part, they’re overhauling the entire car.

      2. Where do you get all that from?

        I hope they do make some improvements, it was looking pretty depressive to see them going nowhere with the car so far.

        Still Liuzzi stands a chance of outqualifying D’Ambrosio in Turkey.

        1. Where do you get all that from?

          John Booth:

          The Turkey upgrade will include new exhausts, a new floor, a new front wing, improved brakes and a tweaked diffusers.

          They’re also getting a new rear wing and nose assembly (it will be raised like everyone else’s) at some point.

          1. So they have a new floor, but where’d the Torro Rossa bit come from?

            1. Prisoner Monkeys
              2nd May 2011, 12:01

              Another site. I don’t have a direct link to it.

      3. Glock is getting what is basically a B-Spec car (Redbull clone high nose, rear, and possibly sidepods), then I think that major upgrade to the Virgin should keep Glock ahead of the HRT.

        But the HRT should be able to compete with the (non updated) A-spec Virgin of d’Ambrosio, and if the setup is wrong, or the updates fail, they could also jump Glock.

        How many times have we doubted HRT but they always prove us wrong. Afterall, their new nose/wing worked so why doubt them? ;)

        1. Makes you wonder why they did not come up with that during the winter!

          Maybe they had to put an enormous effort into their mechanical and hydraulical engeneering?
          True enough they are still working on building the team to fight for years to come, but it does look strange to bring a major overhaul of the car only the 4th race into the season.

          1. Yeah, I thought tht a bit odd as well.

      4. All the Virgin upgrades sound good but basing it purely on CFD carries a risk we all know. HRT having the wind tunnel gives them the edge on at least understanding their parts a little more before hitting the track.

    5. One of the first this time. Well this shows that HRT are capable of beating Virgin as they did last year. Hopefully the will maintain it this year. If they could hook it up at the start of the season they would definetly be ahead of Virgin and nearly chasing Team Lotus.

      1. Well this shows that HRT are capable of beating Virgin as they did last year.

        Technically, they didn’t. The only reason they bested Virgin last year was because they finished 13th in Melbourne – and according to people inside the team, they still have no idea how Karun Chandhok did it.

        1. They did beat Virgin, in the same way Lewis beat Fernando in 2007. You can have the same points but the leaderboard doesn’t lie.

          11: HRT
          12: Virgin

        2. Technically, HRT did beat Virgin, hence they were classified higher at the end of the year. But I completely agree that they were lucky to do so.

          1. Luck was only part of it.
            Ultimatly the car was slower but more reliable than the virgin…and their fuel tank was at least big enough to finish a race

        3. Chandhok finished 14th. I think it was pretty simple how he did it. He finished last. 5 laps down. Even 3 laps down on P13 (Kovalainen).

      2. They won’t catch Team Lotus, they have a steady development plan that should see them fighting with the Mid-field teams.

        It will probably be a straight scrap between Virgin and HRT for the rest of the season.

        1. They won’t catch Team Lotus, they have a steady development plan that should see them fighting with the Mid-field teams.

          Won’t they? One good upgrade could bring them back into contention. After all, McLaren was a second off the pace at the final test of the season … and they were in the top four after qualifying at the first three races.

          1. unnnococooc
            2nd May 2011, 10:39

            But McLaren have a massive budget, heaps more resources a much bigger facility for their base and dare I say it much better peple working for them who have designed cars that have won championships, aswell as more people, the best windtunnel out of all teams and 2 experienced test drivers plus two world champions on board.

            HRT don’t have any of that.

            Sure, HRT could fluke it and hit all the right basis but chances are they just don’t have the resources.

            Added to that, much of McLarens ‘fix’ was reverting the exhaust system as it was doing damage to the lap times. HRT haven’t added something stupid that screws things up, their car is that and it can’t be reversed

            1. Prisoner Monkeys
              2nd May 2011, 12:03

              I’m not talking about HRT. I’m talking about Virgin.

    6. Comon HRT guys, we’re cheering for you. Hope you got lucky, you’ll need it not just upgrades! :)

    7. If this is true and they aren’t just “talking a good game”, then best of luck to them, call me a doe eyed naive deer but I actually believe them when they say they can make a step up. My peers on the comments section here have already stated that HRT kept the pace up to Virgin last year by unlocking speed via set up means as opposed to upgrade packages, which puts other teams (such as Virgin) insistence on upgrades packages into question.

      If my name began with a “T” and ended with “imo Glock” i’d be pretty angry and calling Wirth’s philosophy out if I was overtaken by both HRT’s.

      1. If I remember rightlyl I read an article (presumably on F1 Fanatic) about Glock being, not 100% happy with his situation within the team.

        It would be a huge coup for HRT to beat Virgin in a straight fight. And I can’t see it impressing Glock.

        Having said that, I wouldn’t bet on it happening. Much as I like HRT.

        1. I wouldn’t blame him, if for the next year the Virgin isn’t competitive in the midfield then in Glocks eyes Wirth have broken their promise to him.

          Build the team around him and give him a car that is mildly fast, as it stands right now and for the foreseeable future, its upgrade the car and get KnowWhere*, Virgin was tried last year and they were found wanting, HRT kept up with them… and HRT didn’t upgrade their dog of car.

          They’ve built the team around Glock, a worthy driver in my eyes, and now they need to actually give him a car thats capable of beating a crap car like a HRT, or a Williams** perhaps (massive LOL right there).

          *KnowWhere was a club a friend of mine used to run, henceforth thats how I spell it.

          **ahhh good old Williams, they are the Tottenham Hotspurs of F1. “We were great once!”

    8. Geoff Willis? Nick Wirth? Geoff Willis? Nick Wirth? Geoff Willis every time IMO.

    9. I love Virgin Racing – they exhude a professional approach but don’t have the undeserved smugness of Team Lotus and aren’t given the same biased coverage on the BBC. Their car is also the best looking on the grid.

      However, they are fast becoming a joke of a team. They have two massive financial backers, yet they finished BEHIND HRT last year in the championship and are going nowhere this year as well.

      A real shame.

      1. They finished behind HRT only because HRT was lucky enough to finish in the two races where there were most DNF’s.

    10. If HRT improved as much as they say the are improving they will be on the podium by the end of the year.

    11. I do hope they start to make some progress. Not that I have anything against Virgin or dare I say it, Lotus, but still, they’re a nice little outfit and are really doing themselves proud.

    12. I’m getting a bit fed up with them beating themselves on the chest for “almost beating” Virgin.

      So yeah, Virgin are having a rough time with their new car and d’Ambrosio is really slow. That doesn’t mean HRT are doing a great job. HRT is doing just as poorly as they were doing last year.

      1. d’Ambrosio is really slow

        He beat Glock last time out – in qualifying and the race.

    13. I just get the impression that Virgin’s participation in F1 is to plug their brand rather than produce a competitive car in the long run.

      I get the feeling they will not still be in F1 come 2015. Whereas the likes of Force India and Lotus will (hopefully) have made inroads by then and be competing further up.

      I must add this is all my gut reaction and not based on any facts whatsoever and probably has no base in reality whatsover :)

    14. ” should be favourable for us”
      What did he meant by saying that??

    15. Virgin are very uninteresting at the moment, hope they sort that out and actually start entertaining us at some point. I like HRT though, and hope they are still around competing in a few seasons time, and I reckon they’ll beat Virgin over the season.

    Comments are closed.