The dust has finally settled and all is becoming clear at the Campos Meta team. Firstly, they’re not called Campos Meta anymore.
Eponymous team owner Adrian Campos sold up a few weeks back, with former partner Jose Ramon Carabante taking full control of the team. With Campos no longer in charge a name change was inevitable, and the team initially favoured a change to ‘Hispania Racing Team’. The name comes from Carabante’s property company, Grupo Hispania, itself a homage to the Roman name for the Iberian Peninsula. However this name was rejected by the FIA.
So with Hispania out of the question the team have plumped for the less inspiring title of HRT. It would appear that they’re either unaware of, or simply not bothered by, the other meanings of this acronym. A team statement released today said:
“Campos Meta 1 has been renamed ‘HRT F1’ Team, (Hispania Racing F1 Team) following Jose Ramon Carabante’s acquisition of Campos Meta 1 earlier in February. The new team name and identity is strongly linked to its Spanish roots and the team base will be in Murcia, near Alicante, Spain. The highly motivated squad around Dr Colin Kolles continues its preparations at full speed to make its F1 debut at the first round of the FIA 2010 F1 season at the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix on 14 March.”
Linking the team to the name Hispania makes sense when you consider Spain’s recent love affair with F1. There are now three Spanish drivers on the grid, big money sponsors like Santander (who back Ferrari and McLaren) and two Spanish races on the calendar.
It’s worth mentioning that Adrian Campos may still have a role at the team, though it would be one far less important than he’d previously hoped. As the man who ran Fernando Alonso to his maiden single-seater championship he’s still well thought of in Spanish motorsport, and retains some useful connections inside the world of F1.
Following the takeover Campos was replaced by ex-Force India team principal Colin Kolles. The Romanian today said that the name change represents ‘a new birth for our Formula One ambitions and highlights the incredible effort that is going on behind the scenes to ensure we make a successful debut in Bahrain on 14 March’.
The team will launch their new Dallara-built car in the Spanish city of Murcia tomorrow. They will also confirm their driver line-up, with Bruno Senna likely to be joined by Indian racer Karun Chandhok. It is also expected that Jose Maria Lopez, who was signed to race for USF1, will be appointed reserve driver following the apparent collapse of the American team.