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”

    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. 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.

    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.

    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.

          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.

  1. 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…

    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.

    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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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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