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GP Week : Issue 121
HRT soon to switch focus to 2012 HRT team boss Colin Kolles has admitted that he would soon be switching his focus to the team’s 2012 car. “ We will switch very soon to the 2012 car,” Kolles confirmed in a Q&A released by the team this week. Despite this announcement, however, Kolles is not abandoning all hope for the 2011 season. “ There are still a lot of races left this season,” he said. “ We want to improve our results and achieve our target of being 10th in the constructor’s championship.” Following a P13 finish for Tonio Liuzzi at the Canadian Grand Prix, HRT overtook Marussia Virgin Racing for P11 in the constructors’ standings. Team Lotus, who currently occupy the coveted 10th place, have managed two P13 finishes this season. Kolles also used the Q&A to confirm that HRT’s planned wind tunnel programme would begin in July. The Spanish team has arranged to use the Mercedes GP wind tunnel, and hope to see improvements on track as a consequence of their aerodynamic work. BY the end of the first week of winter testing in Valencia, it was clear to all and sundry that the RB7 was the Best in Show. But over the course of the 2011 season’s opening race, it became obvious that the fastest car on track also had a significant Achilles’ heel, courtesy of its on-again off- again KERS device. Both Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber have suffered KERS outages during grand prix weekends, and it is testament to the car’s sheer pace that the team has secured pole at every race, irrespective of whether or not the device was operational at the time. While the lack of consistent KERS has not hampered Red Bull’s season thus far, the news that the FIA would be banning off- throttle blown diffusers from the British Grand Prix onwards is expected to erode the team’s qualifying advantage. With a potential loss of pace resulting from the forthcoming diffuser ban, Red Bull officials know that any problems with their KERS unit could play into their rivals’ hands. KERS is “still something that we’re working hard on,” team principal Christian Horner said after the Canadian Grand Prix. “ We are getting better with it and we’ve got fixes that are significant fixes coming up for the next grands prix. The fact that we’re able to use the system throughout the grand prix is already progress from two months ago.” Red Bull working on ‘significant’ KERS improvements 12