The HRT team reached a milestone late on Wednesday afternoon in Bahrain when Bruno Senna’s car was fired up for the first time.
Karun Chandhok’s machine is still being completed today. One of the final pieces in the puzzle was the wiring loom which arrived at the airport on Thursday morning and was soon being fitted to the car. The fact that the team is here and should be in a position to send both cars out on Friday morning is nothing short of a miracle.
“At the end of the day we’re here and it’s a great achievement to be here already,” Bruno Senna told this blog on Thursday. “What these guys are doing now is what should have been done in the workshop months ago, and everything should be much more ready. But that’s the conditions we have to play with, and I hope we don’t have so many problems that we hinder our weekend in a way that we cannot do enough miles to learn. But I guess I have to wait until tomorrow and Saturday and Sunday to see that.”
From having virtual nothing a few weeks ago the team is now packed with experienced people, at least on the engineering side, with consultant Geoff Willis and technical boss Jacky Eeckelart joined by race engineers from Sauber, Williams and Renault.
“That’s how it goes, it changes so quickly. And as you said, there are plenty of experienced F1 people, everybody’s so motivated, everybody’s doing their best, so I’m feeling confident that given the right time, we should be able to start competing properly.”
Senna acknowledges that Friday is just going to be about running installation laps: “We need to be careful, try to do as much as we can without causing unnecessary damage. We have to take this weekend as a testing session, because we didn’t have the testing that everybody else had. So we’re going to really take it easy, and then if everything goes to plan on Saturday we start playing with set-up.”
He does agree that it would be fun if HRT could get a car out of the pit lane first, “just to wind everybody up!”
As for Sunday, there can only be one target. “That would be a great achievement, finishing a race. So I hope we get it.”