Season review: HRT


Constructors’ Championship: 12th
Points: 0


Narain Karthikeyan
Points: 0
Best qualifying: 21st
Best race result: 15th

Pedro de la Rosa
Points: 0
Best qualifying: 21st
Best race result: 17th


  • Only failing to qualify for one race.
  • Pedro de la Rosa finishing his first home Grand Prix since 1999.
  • Pedro’s 100th F1 race in Monza, although he was out-qualified by Karthikeyan for the first time.

The highlights say it all really. At the time of writing HRT was desperately looking for a new buyer, without which the name may be confined to the history books after three seasons in the sport.

Running at the back of a Formula 1 grid has never been easy, but when you think that the teams are still spending over £50 million per season you’ve got to ask why they don’t look at the WEC.

Many of HRT’s problems in 2012 (and the previous two years for that matter) were financial, and the numerous brake failures are a sure sign that the budget just wasn’t there. The top teams change their pads and discs for every session over a Grand Prix weekend. HRT, however, actually skimmed existing ones, which lead to a catastrophic disc-ombobulation for Karthikeyan in Korea.

When you consider that there was a one in four chance of not making the finish – the HRTs suffered 11 retirements between them, a possibility that you might not qualify – which neither of them did in Australia, and a two-hour race that would only be punctuated by faster cars lapping you, it’s a miracle that both drivers performed so well for so long.

Pedro had the edge in qualifying, and indeed in most of the races, but neither of them can be marked out as seriously underperforming. If anything underperformed it was the car. Which is exactly what lead to the scary crash for Karthikeyan in Abu Dhabi. The car decided to register zero hydraulic pressure, which locked his steering and left him as a slowing duck for Rosberg’s Mercedes-shaped missile.

If HRT had the budget of McLaren would it be at the front of the grid? Absolutely not. But if it had at least some budget it would have given Marussia a better run for its money. No pun intended.

Despite not understanding why teams like HRT compete in F1, I do wish every single one of its employees the best of luck in the future, wherever it may be.

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