The Dutch F1today.nl website claims that the team’s claims about being unable to test its new F111 car at the final Barcelona pre-season test were untrue.
The team had claimed that its dampers were held up at the border, but the source claims that a host of parts – including “front and rear wings” – had not yet been made.
“People with half a brain can understand what is going on,” the source is quoted. “That we could not test due to dampers being in customs is of course nonsense … it was not just the suspension that was not there, it was a big list of missing parts.”
The team’s newly-liveried F111 was largely bereft of sponsorship stickers – aside from Indian carmaking conglomerate TATA – and this has prompted many to speculate that the team is struggling to survive.
“We engineers have gone unpaid for two months,” the source added, more worryingly. “Five engineers have quit already.”
Rumours from Germany are now also claiming that F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is now getting involved with the team’s survival, and may be personally chipping in with some financial support to see the team through the next few months.
HRT’s business affairs boss Manfredi Ravetto denied all allegations.
[Original image via Flickr]