Originally known as ‘Hispania’, the Spanish team was founded by Adrian Campos after former FIA president Max Mosley opened up three new places in pitlane for the start of the 2010 season.
But last year, the team’s second group of owners – the Carabante family – passed the baton yet again to Thesan Capital, who have rebuilt HRT in the wake of the management and infrastructure that was brought (and taken away) by boss no. 2, Colin Kolles.
Even so, the highly respected British commentator and former grand prix veteran Brundle is surprised that Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan are struggling so much with the team’s Cosworth-powered 2012 car.
“Somebody’s got to be at the front, somebody’s got to be at the back,” the Briton told the Top Gear website.
“(But) the HRT is particularly poor at the moment, and it confuses me why in year three it’s worse than it was in year one.”
Carlos Gracia, an FIA vice-president and head of Spain’s motor racing federation, doesn’t fully agree.
Speaking to the sports newspaper Marca, he explained that veteran de la Rosa faces a “handicap” as the Spaniard races with HRT this year.
“He knows where he is; in a brand new team, although some people believe it is their third year.
“They have begun again, but it seems that they are in a situation where they have only just started and yet they have to clean up the image of the other years.
“That’s his handicap, but the team will have credibility because of Pedro and also because of a good business investment,” added Gracia.