HRT yet to confirm Suzuka drivers

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

There are signs HRT may be consdering another change to their driver line-up ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.

The team’s pre-race press release does not include quotes from their intended drivers. Similar statements from every other race thie year have done.

The team has already changed its driver pairing three times this year. They replaced Bruno Senna with Sakon Yamamoto at Silverstone, then Senna returned to replace Karun Chandhok from the next event.

At Singapore Yamamoto was replaced by Christian Klien. The team said this was because Yamamoto was unwell, but paddock sources reported otherwise, suggesting a sponsorsihp arrangement may have put Klien in the car.

As it’s Yamamoto’s home race this weekend (and assuming HRT’s original explanation was accurate) one would expect to see Yamamoto back in one of the cars in Suzuka.

But driver performance could play a deciding role as well. Klien out-paced Senna in Singapore, and Senna has been comfortably quicker than Yamamoto in their four appearances together.

The team have not yet responded to enquiries about their driver line-up.

HRT driver form guides

Karun Chandhok 2010 form guide
Bruno Senna 2010 form guide
Sakon Yamamoto 2010 form guide
Christian Klien 2010 form guide

2010 Japanese Grand Prix

Browse all 2010 Japanese Grand Prix articles

62 comments on “HRT yet to confirm Suzuka drivers”

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  1. Isn’t there a maximum number of driver changes you can do in a single year?

    And isn’t it three?

    1. No, only the number of drivers you may use is limited to four and they can change around as much as they want, as long as they don’t use more than four drivers

    2. You can change drivers as many times as you like, but you can only use four drivers over the course of the season. So, technically, HRT could use any two of Senna, Chandhok, Yamamoto and Klien.

      1. I remember Prost used 5 drivers in 2001- Alesi, Mazzacane, Burti, Frentzen and Enge- so unless the rules have changed since then I’m not sure that’s correct.

        Although since Hispania (presumably) don’t have a 5th driver on their books, that’s a moot point

        1. I can’t remember when the rule came in but it has definitely been in force for some years (obviously post-2001).

          It’s in the Sporting Regulations, Article 19.1a:

          “During a season each team will be permitted to use four drivers … Additional changes for reasons of force majeure will be considered separately.”

          1. Might be Prost did have to get some kind of allowance to run Frentzen and then when he left get a new driver.

          2. I remember reading the autobiography of Perry McCarthy (the first stig), that said when he drove for the Andrea Moda team in 1992, Bernie/Balestre introduced this rule so that he couldn’t get replaced in the struggling team.

    3. It may be a max number of drivers used, rather than max changes allowed. meaning they could bring back Chandok, Senna, Sakon or Klien many times without penalty….. But I could be very wrong.

  2. Klein and Chandock maybe?

    1. No way. As much as I hate to admit it, Yamamoto is definitely going to get one race seat. I would like to see Chandhok in the other seat, but my guess would be Klein.

    2. I heard it could be Roman Abramovich and Paris Hilton?

      1. I think that was for Abu Dhabi Hare. They’re easing into the big change you see.

        1. I heard HRT were asking drivers to BYOT?….. Bring your own tires?

  3. They need the money so i think Klien and Yamamoto. Japan wants something japanese to hold so Yamamoto for public relations and adv.

    1. Actually, no, even the Japanese don’t care about Sakon. He is not mentioned in their TV coverage at all.

      My wife (who is Japanese) thinks people are embarrassed by him, and just pretend he doesn’t exist.

  4. Klien and Chandhok for me

    1. Japanese Grand Prix ….

  5. me thinks it will be yamamoto and klien

    1. That’s what my money would be on. Kolles can’t have been amused that Klien stuffed Senna in qualifying…

  6. Zig and Zag? Ant and Dec? Two sacks of rice?

    I bet Yuji Ide & Taki Inoue. I couldn’t think of a more capable all-Japanese lineup!

    1. I dunno, I’d willingly put Ide against Sakon….

  7. Klien and Yamamoto are the drivers that should have been in the cars all season. The other two didn’t deserve the seats.

    1. Yamamoto deserved his seat? Sorry, but I’d say Klien/Chandhok was the better combination.

      1. Klien and Senna. Chandhok did bring the car home but at a snail’s pace.. and he was convincingly out qualified by his teammate.

        1. He consistently outpaced Senna in races though. I think Klien/Chandhok would’ve been the best pairing.

          1. Klien and Yamamoto sounds perfect to me.

            Bottom rung team, one pay driver to fund the racing, and one experienced racer to develop the car.

            I would have run that line up all year.

  8. Yeah. I had spoken to Klien and he just confirmed Sakon would be back in Japan. He didn’t mention who the other driver would be!

  9. I doubt the Hispania drivers even know whether they’ll be driving any more. I bet Senna is at the point where he’s asking Colin Kolles if he should pack his race suit or not now…

  10. How about Takuma Sato and Christian Klien?

    1. The rate Sato is wrecking Indy cars at the moment, he had better come with a nice big wedge to replace the HRT he will no doubt trash. Then again there can’t be much of any worth in that piece of junk.

    2. Hispania have used the maximum number drivers the rules allow for this season.

    3. Hell, least Sato crashes because has some spirit….. I’m talking to you Sakon…

  11. Maybe I have made this up but didn’t HRT state after the Silverstone/Senna issue that Senna would be in the car for the rest of the year?

    1. Money can change someone mind very fast.

    2. They did, but as MacLeod said^.

      You can’t take anything Collin Kolles says to the bank.

  12. Klien and Yamamoto would certainly make the most sense given the circumstances.

  13. Surely on the performance side of things you make Klien the number one driver and Senna the rookie…

  14. Possibly Klien – Yamamoto for this race, then back to Senna – Klien.

  15. Why does nobody want Karun back? Keep him on 5Live?

    1. Kolles misses listening to Karunipedia!

      I do hope he gets a chance to get back in the seat though. If not this year, then perhaps next year with Bernie’s backing.

  16. Haha,

    reminds me of the FP1 love blog here on F1-Fanatic with the poll “Does Yamamoto really have food poisoning?”

  17. I’m seeing tweets saying it will be Bruno and Sakon for Suzuka. Any confirmation on that?

    1. Apparently Kolles has told a German website it will be.

      1. …and the FIA’s press conference list for Thursday includes: “Sakon Yamamoto (HRT)”

  18. Wait, if Klien and Yamamoto are both driving, I can’t wait to see the gap between those two…

  19. Keith, I saw that Kolles reluctantly said Bruno Senna and Sakon Yamamoto would be in the cars but said “what if someone breaks a leg”… either he’s still uncertain and wanted to give a quick answer to satisfy the media, or he is a member of some form of mafia organisation and will be snapping Yamamoto’s legs to stop him being lapped by the recovery trucks…

    1. Or what if someone get’s “food poisoning?”

    2. What if someone breaks a leg? If I were Senna or Yamamoto I’d be VERY wary of thugs with baseball bats till my sponsor payments are firmly in Kolles’ bank account!

  20. TheGreatCornholio
    5th October 2010, 17:23

    He’s just waiting to see who’s cheque clears first! Seriously though, apart from dignity how much would a driver\sponsor have to pay per race weekend? Sad situation this:(

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