Sections of the Spanish press are reporting that Hispania Racing is up for sale.
Despite having secured the use of Williams’ gearbox units for the 2011 season, the outfit is in “a delicate situation … [with] … no car, no base, no drivers, no sponsors — only a Cosworth engine”, according to a report in the Diario AS newspaper, following the outfit’s loss of a technical collaboration with its new chassis-building partner, Toyota Motorsport.
With no other chassis builder in sight, continuing into the 2011 season with the use of the hapless Dallara F110 chassis it pedalled in 2010 will leave the outfit at huge risk of failing to make the (returning) 107% qualifying rule.
The only likely solution, according to the report is for “[team owner] José Ramón Carabante and his equity partners [to] put up the team for sale”.
The team had recently announced the arrival of former Telefónica CEO Juan Villalonga, and despite reports of talks with a series of North and South American based investors, no deals have yet been inked that anyone would be aware of.
“It is evident that if Carabante finds a buyer he will dispose of the team,” the report adds.
But team boss Colin Kolles has rubbished these suggestions, claiming that everything is on track and he is in no rush to announce any plans – including a prospective driver line-up – for 2011, just yet.
“We are not necessarily in a hurry, the deadline is three days before the first race,” he said to 422race.com.
“We will have [a 2011 car]. And we are in the process of manufacturing it,” he added.
With what, pray tell? HRT has no technical facilities whatsoever!
Surely it is already too late – especially given that many teams started the design process for their 2011 cars early in the year – to start on an independent design process?
As the esteemed F1 journalist Joe Saward wrote: “I can only hope that someone smart has started to invest in design work in the knowledge that in a while the Spanish will find out that it is all too late and will then realise that their F1 entry is worthless without having a car.
“The man with a car design will at that point, be the person able to dictate terms,” he added.
Do I hear Epsilon Euskadi knocking on the door?
[Original image via Sutton Images]