Will last to launch mean first to finish? In this case we can be pretty sure it won’t, with 2010 strugglers Hispania becoming the final team to unveil their new car in Barcelona today.
The Spanish squad were comfortably the slowest last year, with an under-developed car and a pair of rookie drivers (and subsequently Sakon Yamamoto) not proving the ideal formula for F1 success. Despite this however they ended the year 12th in the constructors championship, beating Virgin Racing by dint of three 14th place finishes.
This year they have a new car, the F111, the design of which was led by former BAR and Red Bull man Geoff Willis. It should be noted however that the new machine looks rather similar to last year’s car – not the best start. The team also boast a flashy new livery this season, created by Hollywood designer Daniel Simon, with phrases such as ‘your logo here’ and ‘cool spot’ included where the team hope sponsors will eventually place their logos.
On the driver front Tonio Liuzzi signed on yesterday to partner India’s Narian Karthikeyan for 2011. The Italian does at least bring recent F1 experience and can, on his day, deliver solid results.
However that looks like being very difficult this year, with Hispania yet to run their new car at all during pre-season testing. They had hoped to get it out on track today but may be forced to delay its debut until tomorrow, with some parts still working their way to the Circuit de Catalunya. Still, one day of testing would be a lot more than they started 2010 with.