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Page last updated at 14:13 GMT, Friday, 11 March 2011

Hispania unveil final Formula 1 car of 2011

The new Hispania F111
Hispania will have only a day's testing with the new car before the first race

By Sarah Holt
BBC Sport at the Circuit de Catalunya

Hispania have become the final Formula 1 team to unveil their 2011 car, on the penultimate day of pre-season testing.

The team, who were new to the sport in 2010 and were the slowest on the grid, hope to take a step forward.

The new car has been designed by a team led by Geoff Willis, a highly experienced F1 engineer formerly with Williams, Honda and Red Bull.

Team boss Colin Kolles said the car was unable to test on Friday because some parts were held up at customs.

That means the car will have only a day's testing before the start of the season in Australia on 27 March.

It will not be easy, but I think that the people in the team know what they are doing

Vitantonio Liuzzi
Hispania driver

Driver Vitantonio Liuzzi, who joins as team-mate to Indian Narain Karthikeyan after being dropped by Force India, said: "What makes us think that we are in good shape is that also last year, with critical conditions, the team was really reliable and the car was really reliable. And it was just a problem of speed.

"On the downforce side we are already much better than last year so we just have to hope that in terms of reliability we can copy the performance of last year.

"So, I have to say that I was surprised because there were some good people in the team who understand a lot about F1 - technicians, and engineers. It makes things more promising.

"We just need to work twice as hard at the beginning because for sure we have to understand the car quicker (than others)."

Karthikeyan added: "Obviously we are going to get very limited time in the car. We are under no illusion that Australia will definitely be tough... the reliability is going to be the biggest question mark for now."

Narain Karthikeyan and Vitantonio Liuzzi
Liuzzi and Karthikeyan are confident the new car is a step forward

F1 has re-introduced a rule that dictates drivers have to get within 107% of the pole position time to qualify for the race.

But Kolles told Reuters news agency he was confident the team would have no problem complying with that requirement.

"I think that this car is quicker than our old car and our old car was not (outside) the 107% rule," said Kolles.

"The data we have is that the car is better than last year's... it's completely aerodynamically modified.

"The others have lost a little bit, we have gained a little bit so let's see where we are."

Karthikeyan added to Reuters: "The (simulation) numbers look good. Qualifying won't be the problem... I think when it all comes together we will surprise a lot of people.

"I'm reasonably confident, we have a good set of people. This year is going to be a completely different story."

Hispania's budget was tight last year, but Kolles said the way ahead was clear now: "We have a budget, the budget has been approved and we are working on this."

Hispania have done a deal to have the gearbox and rear suspension supplied by Williams, who use the same Cosworth engine as Hispania.

Liuzzi said: "We just need to put all the parts of the puzzle together. I think it will not be easy, but I think that the people in the team know what they are doing. We just have to work twice as hard in the next few weeks."



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see also
Liuzzi given drive with Hispania
09 Mar 11 |  Formula 1
Karthikeyan returns with Hispania
07 Jan 11 |  Formula 1


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