Owners desperate to sell HRT for $50-million as crisis engulfs team

Narain Karthikeyan (IND, Carlos Gracia )Spanish Federation President, Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) test driver , Luis Pérez Sala, (Team Principal), Saúl Ruiz de Marcos, (CEO), Dani Clos (Test Driver), Salvador Serviá, Catalunya Circuit Director, and Pedro De la Rosa HRT F1 TEAM with the HRT F112 filming day, Montmeló (Spain) monday 5 march 2012

HRT team at the start of the season

Nov.14 (GMM) Thesan Capital, the current owners of HRT, are seeking $50-million for the struggling backmarker team, according to the Spanish sports daily AS, but the newspaper also revealed that talks with potential buyers from India and Abu Dhabi are underway.

Pedro de la Rosa with Narain Karthikeyan Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Saturday 13 October 2012.HRT, currently owned by Madrid based investment company Thesan Capital, confirmed this week that “the time has come for the team to continue growing with new financial backing”.

Media reports suggested that HRT was in the process of dismissing 32 employees, and needed a buyer before the first days of December to avoid closure.

AS claims that the situation inside the team has become dire, to the point that engineers are concerned that Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan are being put into grands prix in unsafe HRT cars.

Indeed, at the most recent grands prix in Abu Dhabi and India, both Karthikeyan and de la Rosa retired in spectacular style with fundamental technical failures.

De la Rosa crashed due to brake failure, while Mercedes‘ Nico Rosberg was sent airborne when Karthikeyan slowed because his steering wheel “locked solid”.

Luis Perez-Sala (ESP) HRT Formula One Team, Team Prinicpal. Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday 21 September 2012.“Narain told me that his steering broke,” said Rosberg, “and he needed to brake which I didn’t expect in a high speed corner.”

AS suggests that HRT has considered simply withdrawing from the 2012 championship, but is pushing ahead for now due to its commitment to the Concorde Agreement.

According to the report, HRT was hoping its association with Chinese reserve driver Ma Qing Hua would bear commercial fruit.

Chief executive Saul Ruiz de Marcos reportedly wrote a letter to China’s motor racing federation, saying that Hua would make his F1 debut in 2013 if he could bring EUR 30 million in backing.

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