This year, though, Hispania has gone back to the drawing board, bringing in veteran designer Geoff Willis to thoroughly work over last year's Dallara-sourced car. After every other team unveiled their new cars and ran them at the successive pre-season tests, HRT was still building theirs, showing us some renderings of the new livery in the meantime and running the old car to test the new tires.
But now they've finally put on the finishing touches, shown it to the world and took it out on the track for the first time.
While they were at it, HRT has also announced its final driver line-up, filling in that last TBA on the 2011 driver roster with the hiring of Tonio Liuzzi (who lost his seat at Force India) to drive alongside Narain "Tata Money" Karthikeyan this season.
The new car bears all the hallmarks of the new F1 regulations, but the first thing you're likely to notice is its livery. With little in the way of sponsors, HRT brought in Daniel Simon - the former VW Group designer responsible for, among other things, the light-cycles in Tron: Legacy - to pen the car's dynamic paint scheme. The result is considerably more attractive than last year's gray car, leaving open spots for future sponsors (currently held by "this could be you" and "your logo here" lettering). Simon's Cosmic Motors design firm gets its own logo on the sidepod wing plates, joined only by Tata Motors, which came to the team with Narain Karthikeyan.