Warren Hughes wrote:But "go home Colin Kolles" is a running joke. I thought it was almost an unwritten rule of these forums that no-one ever gets tired of a running joke. Which is why the 'HWNSNBM facts' thread continues to thrive.
On the subject of HRT, somebody has to be at the back, and to be honest I'm happy to have a backmarker that lives up to the finest reject traditions of a crap car, no money and a string of pay drivers. They're triers; let's hope they can soldier on for as long as possible!
And on top of that, Kolles might be a consummate professional, but he is not the sort of figure who many would publicly sympathise with, having garnered a reputation for being "hard headed" and uncooperative. Many of the driver changes through the season seemed somewhat arbitrary, and not particularly well planned, making the team look disorganised at times.
Yamamoto, for example, only found out that he would be driving in Silverstone on Thursday night, hours before the first practise session, and throughout the rest of the season, this was a trend that was repeated. No explanation has ever been given for Yamamoto's appearance at Silverstone (not even to the drivers - Yamamoto was simply told to turn up and drive), but the fact that it coincided with rumours that Bruno Senna had criticized the teams lack of organisation and progress in an internal e-mail made the change look like a piece of petty revenge.
Either way, making literally last minute changes to your driver line up does not look like good practise, especially when you either put out transparently false statements (like Yamamoto supposedly being ill in Singapore, whilst turning up the the track looking completely normal and slightly cross), or just don't bother trying to explain why at all.
And, on top of that, there was the highly acrimonious relationship with Dallara, which ended up with Dallara essentially disowning the car (they make almost no mention of the car at all, and where they do mention it, it wasn't exactly with pride). Managing to annoy one of the most highly renowned chassis makers in the world of motorsport - a company which is crushingly dominant in Formula 3, which built the chassis for the Audi R8 (a five times Le Mans winner) and now produces the current GP2 car - didn't help. Although I do concede that there were probably faults on the side of Dallara too, the angry exchanges in the press hurt what became HRT badly (although most of those problems were inherited from Campos, who was out of his depth), and gave the company a reputation as bad customers.
The fact that they were very late to pay their bills during the season (reputedly being one of the the worst debtors, with some payments up to 180 days late) only made their reputation worse (even though they were no worse a debtor than Lotus Racing, because of what happened in the pre season, HRT have ended up with the worst reputation).
On top of that, they were fined more times during the season than any other team for procedural errors, making them look foolish at times, or downright dangerous (for example, for sending mechanics out of the pitlane to recover tyre blankets they'd left on the car, and for unsafe pitlane activities after that mechanic was knocked over in Monza).
All in all, although HRT haven't been the worst team compared to teams in the past, these days the expectations from the press and other teams is much higher, and HRT did not meet those expectations. And, on top of that, they haven't endeared themselves to either the FIA, because of their misdemeanours, or to FOM, because of their image (whether or not warranted) of incompetence.