The week post the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix started with teams announcing their line-up for the mid-season Formula1 test to be held in Mugello in the first week of May. I was looking forward to Narain Karthikeyan and his Hispania Racing Team (HRT) to go testing and hopefully upgrade a few components of their car and work around their setup to move further up the grid and mount a challenge to the second slowest team on the grid, Marussia.
However, in a fresh statement released by the team, they have just announced that they would not be participating in the test in Mugello. The main reason cited by the team is because they are busy shifting their headquarters to Madrid and that their car upgrade would be available only for the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix.
It must be noted that HRT has had no track time prior to the start of the season in Australia and have infact put together and worked on their F112 without any testing this season. The result of this of course has been that they have had the slowest cars on the grid in qualifying and while they have finished races, they have been way off the pace!
The news is certainly disappointing for Narain Karthikeyan fans in India who were surely expecting the Indian driver and the Spanish team to make some progress via the extra track time provided. I am slightly surprised at the team’s reasons for missing this test, however, if their next upgrade is going to be available only in Spain, appearing in Mugello and just going around the tracks wouldn’t make much sense as well. Though I am sure that a few of the top teams would be happy to know about HRT missing this test so that they don’t have to deal with mobile chicanes on track!
I wonder if the team is skipping this test due to lack of budgets! Very possible! And of course, I bring back my most read post ‘Has TATA Made The Wrong Decision With HRT’. Do share your thoughts!
And hear RJ Rishi Kapoor and me speak about the Mugello test in our latest Formula1 Podcast.