HRT off 2013 F1 entry list
TOUGH AND RUMBLE: Formula 1 can be a rough place - this was Spa in 2012 - and expensive, the latter why the HRT outfit will likely not appear for the 2013 fray. Image: AFP
Author: ALAN BALDWIN
LONDON, England - Formula 1 will likely be reduced to 11 teams for the 2013 season since the championship entry list was published without struggling Spanish-based HRT.
The 22-car list was published on the governing International Automobile Federation's website on Saturday after the Friday deadline for teams to pay entry fees. Madrid-based HRT was looking at the equivalent of R4.4-million.
HRT has scored zero points in its three years of F1 and its owners announced in November 2013 that the team was up for sale. However the team could still race: it's apparently been given time to find a buyer.
The team was founded by Spanish ex-F1driver Adrian Campos in 2010 after three new teams were invited to enter the championship but Campos Meta hit immediate financial trouble. It was renamed Hispania in a rescue operation led by Murcia-based businessman Jose Ramon Carabante and Colin Kolles, a former principal of what is now the Force India team, before being taken over by Thesan Capital in July 2011.
Spanish veteran Pedro De la Rosa and Indian Narain Karthikeyan were the drivers through 2012. The Cosworth-powered team finished 12th and last overall after beating Marussia in 2011 and 2010.
There has been considerable scepticism within the sport about the prospect of a buyer. McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has said: "I hope they find a buyer, an investor, and I hope they don't shut, but clearly there's a good possibility that they might. I think we've got to recognise that after probably the four top teams, all the teams have got really big challenges and costs are escalating."
Japan's Super Aguri was the previous F1 team to fold, in 2008 season due to financial problems.