KQ Motor Sports
KQ Motor Sports (sometimes shortened to KQ) was a South Korean F1RWRS racing team and constructor, the brainchild of Korean road car manufacturers Kia and Hyundai. The team were mainly known for their hybrid engines, unusual for an open-wheel racing series. Although the team were able to score a few impressive results, such as a top 5 finish in the 2010 F1RWRS German Grand Prix, a few top 5 qualifying positions and a handful of laps led in the hands of Hagane Shizuka and Adam Lewis, poins were almost always relatively minor, and the team finished joint-last in the constructors' championship with 23 points. This lack of results dissuaded drivers from joining the team, who had to bow out of the F1RWRS at the end of its inaugural season, although they move to Formula One instead.
KQ Motor Sport was originally created by a small group of South Korean businessmen led by Gyeong-Dong Wung, the team principal, however they quickly managed to gain funding from Hyundai and Kia. However, the two automotive companies never supplied anything to the team until they entered the F1RWRS. They ran a Koenig GT in the GT Tuning Cup, often running at the front. They also competed in the Palmer Jaguar Series, but a lack of results meant that they didn't last long. KQ is also one of the most sought after drives in the lowest F1RWRS feeder category at the time (before advent of F3RWRS), the GT Light International Cup, having won the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009 championships. This success led many to believe that they would be successful in the F1RWRS.
For 2010, KQ managed to convince Hyundai to produce a hybrid system to power their car, and got Kia to build the chassis. They signed Hagane Shizuka to the team, however they could not get a second driver until shortly before the German GP, signing Adam Lewis. Results were rare, with the highlight being 5th for Shizuka at Germany. Only once did KQ have both drivers in the top 10, at Britain. Part way through the season, Kia broke its ties with the team, leaving them short on money and unable to develop their chassis. Hyundai soon followed, although Hyundai eventually came back when KQ moved to F1. This left them with almost nothing after Lewis retired and Shizuka went to West Cliff Racing. Their F1RWRS effort was over, and they very nearly had to give up on their other teams as well, until they decided to go against the flow and move to Formula One instead.
After Hispania Racing was forced to leave Formula One at the end of 2010, KQ made a shock jump to Formula One in 2011 despite the team getting running out of money after farcical F1RWRS outing. A set of new backers were appointed, and the team received a title sponsorship deal with Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia. Keiko Ihara and Pastor Maldonado, who brought PDVSA backing, further making the team's financial status better, were selected as drivers. Through the season, Maldonado brought a better result compared when the team was still in F1RWRS, culminating in a fourth position finish in the second Monaco race while Ihara turned out to be the female counterpart of Yuji Ide as she were always going slowly on the track, culminating in hitting Fernando Alonso and seriously ignoring blue flags in the second Spanish race. Ihara was banned for two races and faced super-license revocation; the team sacked her immediately and brought journeyman Ralf Alden. The team was forced to construct a new car with larger cockpit opening for him after Alden concerned, and complained, that he could not fit in the car. This hampered his performance at the team, as Alden was in his 40s when he raced in F1.
For 2012, Maldonado left for Sauber and Alden decided to retire. Sergio Perez replaced Maldonado in a swap and Mizuki Ukawa took over Alden's place. While Perez scored some minor points, Ukawa was too slow and voluntarily resigned, returning to his original job as a test driver for the team. Paul di Resta replaced Ukawa for the rest of the season, but Ukawa returned for European Grand Prix at Mugello after di Resta was banned for dangerous driving in Turkish GP.
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