Spain’s AS newspaper claims HRT is in breach of a verbal agreement it made when it placed an order for three new transporters from the Cec-SA truck-building firm. The finished trucks are now sitting idly in the depot, and will continue to do so until they are fully paid for.
Cec-SA apparently spent some €300,000 in supply and labour costs to finance the project, but that scarcely a cent has changed hands.
“For a family business like ours this is a heavy burden,” said Cec-SA boss Victor Mendez, who also revealed that the deal had initially been inked by HRT’s outgoing team founder Adrián Campos.
“We had a first meeting with [HRT’s current owner] José Ramón Carabante, who assured us he would fix everything,” Mendez added.
“But from then we had meeting after meeting, the last a few weeks ago at the [Barcelona] test, and no solution is reached. We have nothing signed, but plenty of documentation that proves everything was commissioned by them.”
The details sound scarily familiar to previously documented agreements drawn up with HRT that have managed to fall through.
Last year, the team had agreed to a technical collaboration with Toyota’s defunct F1 operation for the design and supply of the German team’s never-raced TF110 chassis’, but Toyota pulled the pin in November, citing a lack of payment from HRT – an allegation that the Spanish team has (of course) denied.
The team was suspended by the Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA) for failing to pay its ongoing membership fee, and again HRT claimed that it had quit the group beforehand in protest over other unrelated matters.
And at last fortnight’s Australian Grand Prix, the team’s new cars were late in being built, ostensibly because of a delay in receiving parts for the cars, which only started arriving once the team started to pay its suppliers.
Shades of Andrea Moda anyone?