HRT sacks staff and seeks buyer to avoid closure

HRT Formula One Team team photograph. (L to R): Dani Clos (ESP) HRT Formula One Team HRT F112 Third Driver; Pedro De La Rosa (ESP) HRT Formula One Team; Luis Perez-Sala (ESP) HRT Formula One Team, Team Prinicpal; Narain Karthikeyan (IND) HRT Formula One Team; Ma Qing Hua (CHN) HRT Formula One Team HRT F112 Development Driver. Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday 28 July 2012.Nov.13 (Reuters) Spanish Formula One backmarkers HRT are up for sale and talks are ongoing with a number of groups interested in buying the team, owners Thesan Capital said in a statement on Monday.

The team, who have yet to score a point in three years, have Indian Narain Karthikeyan and Spanish veteran Pedro De la Rosa as their two current drivers in a season that ends later this month.

HRT said on their website (www.hrtf1team.com) that the owners hoped to conclude a sale in the next few weeks.

“We believe the moment to let new investors come through for HRT Formula One Team has arrived,” it quoted team management as saying.

“The time has come for the team to continue growing with new financial backing. We’re convinced that the sporting potential of the team is huge and that the presence of new investors can give it a big boost.”

Thesan Capital took over HRT in July last year, with former grand prix driver Luis Perez-Sala becoming the team principal and the headquarters moving to Madrid.

HRT have developed links with China this year with Shanghai-born Ma Qing Hua driving their car in some Friday practice sessions and enlisted in their young driver development programme.

The team held an event in Shanghai last week to recognise Ma Qing Hua’s achievement in becoming the first Chinese-born driver to take part in a grand prix weekend.

“We are very proud of him and we wish him and the team the very best. We will also make a big effort to support him,” Zhao Yingua, chairman of Shanghai Automobile and Motorsports Association, said at the time in a team statement.

According to GMM before the official confirmation, it was reported by Spain’s El Confidencial on Monday that the struggling team had dismissed 32 employees, and needed a buyer before December to avoid closure.

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