Former boss Colin Kolles and his Greding-based company is no longer involved, but there remains a strong German input with the struggling team HRT.
A report in the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper reveals that the new Cosworth-powered F112 car, which failed to qualify in Melbourne last weekend, was designed and built in Augsburg, a city in the south-west of Bavaria. It is there that, since November 2011, the Holzer-Gruppe company has been frantically building up the Cosworth-powered cars for Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan.
“Under our management almost everything has been made here in Bobingen,” said Gunther Holzer. “For the wind tunnel we used the Mercedes facility in Brackley (UK).”
Eight of F1’s 12 teams are based in England, with the others either in Italy (Ferrari and Toro Rosso) or Switzerland (Sauber). HRT uses Williams’ gearbox.
“We wanted to go our separate way, not like almost everyone else who are all within a few miles of Oxford,” said HRT chief executive Saul Ruiz de Marcos.
The team’s longer plan is to be solely based in Madrid, but for now Holzer will lead the development of the F112.
“For the start of the European season in Spain we are planning the first improvements to the car,” said Marcos.
Holzer explained: “The car is designed first for safety and so is heavy compared to the competition. For the future we are focused on making it lighter.”
Before the lighter car debuts in Barcelona, HRT faces three more challenges – Malaysia, China and Bahrain – at which the sport’s 107 per cent rule will be a major hurdle.
“The goal is to qualify, there is no other,” admitted de la Rosa. “Race reliability is something else we need to work on, but first we have to qualify.”