Hispania F111 Virtually Here
Well, that’s a surprise, the Hispania F111 is here. Well almost. The team have provided a first look at their second car in the form of graphics. Given that USF1 did something similar last year, maybe I shouldn’t get my hopes up too soon? Sporting a new livery straight from Hollywood, the team have at least made one step in the right direction…
The car itself has changed a lot since last year – no surprise given the complete change of design team. The F111 is the work of technical chief Geoff Willis and chief designer Paul White. The end result looks a lot like last year’s Virgin, or, for that matter, this year’s. However, as this is an early render, with the final car not expected to be seen until the final test in Bahrain, it’s difficult to comment on the fine detail – no exhaust is apparent on the current pictures. The team confirmed it will have an adjustable rear wing but the F111 will not being sporting a Kinetic Energy Recovery System. “We feel really proud of the car our drivers will run this forthcoming season,” says HRT president Jose Ramon Carabante. “We are very pleased to introduce the first spec of the F111, which means a huge design-effort from our side. This is only a first step as we are planning several updates during the season.”
Farewell grey livery (a design I hated with a passion,) hello chequered flag, white and red. I guess it’s a design that will create mixed opinions but given what they had last year, you surely have to like it? The concept is the product of designer Daniel Simon who worked alongside director Ridley Scott on TRON: Legacy – his website bills him as ‘Vehicle Design for this and other Galaxies’. His task at Hispania has been to create ‘a dynamic new corporate image’. I have to say, I couldn’t think of another team in 2010 that needed to work on its image more. Compare Hispania to the popularity that Virgin and Lotus created – the latter’s fanbase has been a powerful weapon in its arguments with Group Lotus.
The livery has an American feel to it, especially with the large number on the engine cover. “I miss fearless visual statements and large beautiful numbers on today’s racing cars,” says Simon. “I centred the visual focus around the engine of the car – with intrepid red spaces embraced by a wavy chequered flag. In contrast, the nose stays light and dynamic, as its aerodynamic beauty suggests.” So there.
Then there are the curious messages adorning the bodywork: ‘Your Logo Here’, ‘Cool Spot’ and ‘This Could Be You’ being the most obvious. At least the team have developed a sense of humour about their shortage of sponsorship although ‘This Could Be You’ adorns the sidepods. Given that this location was given over to the drivers’ names last year, I’m not sure if it is a sponsor or a second driver that they’re after. However, look closer and there a little messages adorning the bodywork all over. For example the rear wing endplates carries the legend ‘The car ends here’, the engine cover camera bears the message ‘Attention: You are being filmed’ and just in front of the sidepods there is ‘Strong suction effect, hold onto something when step here.’
Forget points, will this be the car that makes Hispania more popular?
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Images © Hispania Racing Team 2011