The financial security of Formula One minnows Hispania Racing is once again being called into question tonight following a statement that was released late this evening by the Toyota Motorsport Group.
Toyota, a former Formula One team who left the sport at the end of 2009, were in a deal to sell Hispania their un-raced 2010 prototype Formula One car and offer other technical assistance to the team, who featured no less than 4 drivers over the course of this season.
However the deal is now off as Hispania have not paid the Toyota Motorsport Group any of the installments required. Their financial security has been called into question repeatedly over 2010, but team boss Colin Kolles recently said they were totally safe.
“Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) confirms that all cooperation with Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT) has been terminated and will not resume,” said the statement.
“TMG retains all intellectual property rights to its current F1 car and is completely free to pursue other projects and support new customers for its high-performance engineering services.
“TMG regrets that HRT has not met its contractual payment obligations and will pursue all available options to reach a satisfactory conclusion to this matter.”
Christian Klien will once again race alongside Bruno Senna at Hispania Racing in Abu Dhabi.
The talented Austrian driver, who previously raced for Red Bull and Jaguar, will be starting his third Grand Prix weekend with the Spanish minnow team having been brought in to replace Sakon Yamamoto.
Klien has already impressed with the car, outqualifying Bruno Senna in both of his previous races. He was unlucky to suffer mechanical problems before the start of the Brazilian Grand Prix last weekend which put him 6 laps down before he even started.
“It’s my third chance to compete for the team this season and I’m getting more and more used to the car and the crew,” said Klien, who was initially signed as a test and reserve driver earlier this year before Hispania began rotating its race line-up.
“I hope we can achieve some great results and have a clean weekend. We should have a similar pace to the one in Brazil, so I think we can be a challenge for the [other] new teams.”
Hispania should be seriously considering him for a race seat next year. A talented and overlooked driver is CK, and an all round good bloke.
Christian Klien is once again set to replace Sakon Yamamoto for the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend at Hispania.
The reasons behind the swap are unknown, but the Japanese driver has been dropped in place of the formerly Red Bull backed Klien for this weekend. Klien drove in place of Sakon at the Singaporean Grand Prix too, and has shown good pace in the slow HRT. He described its handling as “a bit like a rally car” at one point.
“I am excited to come to Brazil where I already raced two times, the last time in 2005, and where I could achieve good results,” said Klien. “The circuit is quite challenging and we are racing anti-clockwise which is going to be tough for the neck.
“There are many slow corners and the long straight at the start-finish-line where high speeds are possible.
“I am very happy to get a second opportunity to do another Grand Prix here after Singapore and I hope that we are doing a good weekend with positive results.”
Hispania HRT have been fined $5,000 for their pitlane incident involving Japanese driver Sakon Yamamoto in practice for the Korean Grand Prix today.
The Spanish team let Yamamoto leave the pit garage with one of the tyre warmers still attached. This was in breach of rules 23.1(j), 30.7 and 30.9
“It is the responsibility of the competitor to release his car after a pitstop only when it is safe to do so,” states article 23.1.
Sakon Yamamoto has retained the second race seat in the Hispania HRT Team for the Belgian Grand Prix next weekend.
The Japanese driver who has been consistently off the pace in the backmarker team was chosen ahead of popular Indian driver Karun Chandhok who after 3 races out of the seat must be considering his options for a team move.
Hispania have been rumoured to be having large financial difficulties, and the paddock is awash with rumours that Yamamoto, who previously only drove for Spyker and Super Aguri, is meerly racing because of money he can bring to the ailing Spanish squad.
Speaking about his continued spell in the car, Yamamoto said: “I am looking forward to be back in action after the break. In 2007, I was already running in Spa-Francorchamps with Spyker F1.”
Sakon Yamamoto has retained his race seat with Hispania for the Hungarian Grand Prix, despite poor performances across the weekend in both of his previous races.
The Japanese driver, who has previous race experience with Spyker and Super Aguri, was drafted in as a replacement for Bruno Senna at the British Grand Prix. However last weekend Senna was back for the German Grand Prix, and popular Indian racer Karun Chandhok was dropped.
There has been a furor of speculation surrounding the appointment of Yamamoto, who was a second slower than Tonio Liuzzi in qualifying for the German Grand Prix – worth noting the Italian had smashed his car up only 3 laps in to qualifying too, with people suggesting the decision revolves entirely around money.
If the decision was on driver skill then the other test driver, one of the sports most overlooked men, Christian Klien should be racing.
“I can’t wait to go back to the Hungaroring as I know the circuit already very well from my Formula 1 races with Super Aguri, Spyker F1 and with ART in GP2 series,” said Yamamoto in a team preview.
The team say they are retaining Chandhok, but the chances of him racing again this season are looking slimmer by the day.
Sakon Yamamoto is set to replace popular Indian F1 driver Karun Chandhok at the German Grand Prix next weekend, as the Japanese driver makes his second appearance this season for HRT F1.
Yamamoto replaced Bruno Senna in surprise circumstances the evening before the British Grand Prix, a move widely suspected to be about sponsorship money. However it has been revealed in Auto Bild and on popular motoring website Pistonheads that Senna was allegedly replaced because he sent an email criticising team boss Colin Kolles to…wait for it….Colin Kolles himself! A bit of a mistake from the talented Brazilian.
“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,” said the team in a statement.
But now pay driver Yamamoto is racing alongside Senna, there has been uproar between fans on Twitter, with campaigns being started to get Chandhok his seat back. The man himself though is less concerned about his situation, believing he will race again this season.
“It’s not defined for the rest of the season and I expect to be back in the car at some races,” the Indian driver told Autosport this morning.
“Probably not all of them, but I do expect to be back in the car and racing soon.”
Sakon Yamamoto has said he is very thankful to the bosses of Hispania Racing for allowing him the opportunity to race for the team at last weekends British Grand Prix.
In a late change to their driver line up, Yamamoto replaced Bruno Senna in the #2 car alongside Karun Chandhok. It was a surprise to many in the paddock, but the outing for the Japanese driver is likely to be a one off with Senna set to take his car back in Germany.
Sakon had a quiet but consistent race, finishing 2 laps off the leaders pace.
“I am very happy that the team achieved its target, another two-car finish,” the former Spyker driver said.
“It was a good experience for me to race in Formula 1 again. I could improve all over the weekend and got a better feeling for the car.
“I want to thank the team for giving me the chance to race here in Silverstone. I was able to show that I am prepared to be back in the cockpit and, whenever I’ll get the opportunity to race again, I will take it. I also want to thank my, fans who always supported me over the years. It was a very special and exciting weekend for me.”
Bruno Senna will race again for Hispania at the next round of the F1 season and on until the end of the season, their team principal Colin Kolles announced this afternoon.
Following the surprise appointment of Sakon Yamamoto, one of the teams two test drivers, to a race seat instead of Senna this weekend, many believed the talented Brazilian was out of his race seat permanently.
However Yamamoto, whose only previous race experience is with Spyker and Super Aguri, will only get the chance of racing this weekend – we are unsure why he is, as yet there is no indication on the reasoning behind the change.
The statement continued to add: “In respect to the rumours about Bruno Senna’s current status with Hispania Racing, HRT F1 Team, the team wants to confirm that Bruno Senna has all the support of the Spanish team, that he remains one of the Hispania Racing, HRT F1 Team official drivers and that he will be continuing to drive in the remaining races of the 2010 Formula 1 world championship.”