HRT F1 team boss Colin Kolles reckons that the Bahrain Grand Prix was the hardest race weekend he has ever experienced, after his outfit pulled off a series of all-nighters to get its cars ready.
Having helped ensure HRT made it to the season opener in the wake of the financial problems the team encountered under its Campos Meta guise, Kolles oversaw a supreme effort, and several all-nighters, to get the cars ready for action. Having had only a few hours sleep over the whole Manama weekend, Kolles hopes that the hard times are now well behind the team.
"It was the hardest weekend I have known – and there have been many hard weekends," Kolles told AUTOSPORT. "But, it was a very hard period because you had to make an operation, like a surgery, where you cannot miss something. You have to do it very precisely, and to arrive with all the boxes, with all the cars, at Munich airport and bringing the cars here with all the equipment was very hard."
When asked if he felt that simply getting into the race was success in itself, Kolles said: "Yes, for sure. The point is that people have to realize what was the state of the team three weeks ago. You can ask Dallara, you can ask Cosworth, you can ask Xtrac, you can ask McLaren Electronics..."
Kolles also hopes that with three further flyaway races coming up, the team will not have quite as difficult a time as it experienced in Bahrain.
"Well, I hope that the next ones will be not so tough," he said. "Obviously, F1 is a tough business and everything is tough – but I think this was a quite nice challenge.
"There are many other challenges to come, but this was a big challenge – to do something in a few weeks that other people had not succeeded in doing in 12 months."
Full Q & A with Colin Kolles