Autoblog season preview 2011: Lotus, HRT, Virgin
The new Formula One season gets underway in a couple of days, and as usual, we wonder who the favourites are? Autoblog UK takes a look at the strengths and weaknesses of all twelve teams.
Most teams don't share the aims and expectations of Team Lotus - the midfield. However, Lotus are only in their second F1 season and can rely on a couple of experienced drivers in the hunt for points: talisman, Jarno Trulli, and Heikki Kovalainen. Last year, Heikki was best-placed driver of the new teams in 20th position.
Hispania Racing Team
It's difficult to say much about these latecomers. They were the last outfit to present their car and didn't put in many test miles. Vitantonio Liuzzi was the final regular driver to be confirmed. As the season progresses, we'll see whether he and Nahrain Karthikeyan, who is returning to F1, can shake off their habit of always being last.
Newcomer Jerome D'Ambrosio was without team-mate Timo Glock for the final part of testing. Timo was recovering from an appendix operation. Despite posting times that were between five and nine seconds off the pace of the quickest, the Belgian driver was upbeat about the new season. Team-mate Glock put a dampener on expectations, though: "It would be OK if we were up there with the likes of Sauber, Toro Rosso and Force India. Being realistic, we ought to be just two or 2.5 seconds down on the top teams."