Today must be a very important day for the back markers of Formula1. I wonder if there was ‘vaastu’ involved in selecting this particular day to make their announcements. Three F1 teams made important announcements today in their quest to become better (read faster) racing teams in Formula1.
Hispania Racing Team, which replaced Narain Karthikeyan with Daniel Ricciardo late last week, announced an ownership change in the team. This would be the third change in the little over 1 year that the team has spent in Formula1. Spanish private equity firm Thesan Capital acquired a majority stake in the team with an aim to make it Spain’s F1 team. The team intends to stick with a major part of HRT’s work force and the only notable absence could be of Dr. Collin Kolles, team’s Technical Director and of course Narain Karthikeyan. Daniel Ricciardo will debut in Formula1 with HRT at the 2011 British Grand Prix.
The HRT ownership has changed from Adrian Campos to Jose Carabente and now Thesan Capital in just over 18 months of operations. The new owners plan to strengthen the Spanish identity of the team and will definitely explore setting up the team in Spain!
WilliamsF1, who enjoyed engine collaboration with Cosworth for two seasons, announced Renault as their engine partner from the 2012 F1 season onwards. This deal will last through the changes in engine regulations that have been announced for the 2014 F1 season. Williams-Renault partnership dominated the sport in the 1980/90’s and is hoping for history to repeat itself soon. In 2012, Renault will supply engines 4 teams on the grid: 1) Lotus Renault GP, 2) Team Lotus Racing, 3) Red Bull – Renault and Williams – Renault. After exiting the sport as a manufacturer, Renault F1 is making its mark as an engine partner and is probably making profits as compared to its earlier racing team avatar.
After sacking Nick Wirth last month, Marussia Virgin Racing announced a technical partnership with Mclaren Applied Technologies today. This is Mclaren’s second such collaboration with a privateer team on the F1 grid, the first being the Force India Formula One team. This agreement will allow Virgin Racing access to Mclaren’s facilities that include testing rigs, driver simulators and wind tunnels. The latter being an all important aspect for the team that had its previous cars designed only by a computer. As with Mclaren’s tie-up with Force India, this partnership will also see Mclaren’s staff work in the Virgin Racing team.
A day of significant F1 news as the bottom grid teams in Formula1 laid their plans to progress up the grid in the near future. The significant investments aside, ‘wait and watch’ is what I would say!