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HRT still waits on 2011 car

ESPNF1 Staff
March 8, 2011 « 'I don't want to talk about F1' - Raikkonen | »
Tonio Liuzzi sits in the cockpit of the HRT before his first run a fortnight ago ... Spanish media reports he is set to be confirmed as the team's second driver this week © Sutton Images

HRT may not have its 2011 car ready for this week's testing in Barcelona, according to Spanish daily Sport. At best, it is likely to appear near the end of the four-day session.

A report said the Cosworth-powered F111 will make its debut at the earliest possible moment during the final pre-season test "depending on when it is ready".

HRT, which has still to name its second driver, has not made any official announcements about the car's debut, but journalist Josep Viaplana was told by a source: "The car is in the final stage of assembly. We do not know if it will be Wednesday or Thursday, but the F111 will run in[Barcelona]."

After the technical collaboration with Toyota fell through, another setback for HRT this winter was the defection of key staff. These include engineer Xevi Pujolar who returned to Williams, and four other Spanish team members including chief mechanic Enrique Colomina who returned to work with departed team founder Adrian Campos.

However, two prominent new staff members have joined, both from the Spanish Le Mans team Epsilon Euskadi; marketing boss Maria Serrat, and engineer Albert Fabrega.

Reports in the Spanish media suggest Tonio Liuzzi is favourite to be confirmed as Narain Karthikeyan's team-mate after a successful test a fortnight ago.