Pastor Maldonado, HRT, Abu Dhabi, 2010

HRT leave FOTA after not paying membership fees

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In today’s round-up, HRT say they left FOTA because it’s “more for the big teams” – but it turns out there’s more to the story.


Hispania quit Formula One teams body FOTA (Reuters)

“FOTA general secretary Simone Perillo told Reuters that the team had failed to pay their dues. ‘I can confirm that Hispania Racing F1 Team did not fulfil their 2010 FOTA membership fee obligations,’ he said, without disclosing how much was owing of the ??100,000 ($129,100) annual fee.'”

Case details for Trade Mark 2561143 (Intellectual Property Office)

Lotus appear to have abandoned an attempt to register their green and yellow colouring as a trademark.

Legendary Tyrrell designer Derek Gardner dies (ESPN)

“Respected Tyrrell designer Derek Gardner has died at the age of 79.”

Meet the Vodafone McLaren Team (Youtube)

Comment of the day

Here’s an interesting observation on Juan Manuel Fangio from Alec:

I just wanted to add a comment about Fangio, having grown up in Argentina.

The country has sports figures that were celebrated despite their faults, like Maradona, who may have been a terrific football player yet was a disaster in his personal life, and even a bad sportsman on the soccer field (remember the famous ??hand of god?? goal.)

But Fangio was the opposite, just as famous for being humble and a gentleman as for his results. I think perhaps he had equals as drivers, say Ayrton Senna. But I can?t think of any other with quite such a good reputation for his conduct, driving or otherwise.

From the forum

Apparently other people have fonder memories of the “Grand Prix Manager” games than I do.

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Happy birthday to Adrian Sutil who is 28 today!

Image ?? Motioncompany

90 comments on “HRT leave FOTA after not paying membership fees”

  1. They really are becoming an abysmal outfit! Surely better to be with FOTA, especially trying to earn some credibility.

    1. FOTA is, and always has been, a manufacturer initiative. Hispania doesn’t really lose much by not being a part of the association. They cannot vote on proposals put before the members, but at the same time, they are not obligated to follow directives. For example, FOTA agreed not to use KERS in 2010. But if Hispania were not a member, they would be entitled to use KERS if they liked, and without fear of FOTA sanctions.

      1. Yep. Not joining = best way to save $129,000.

        1. Nothing wrong with saving money, but paying the FOTA subs is mostly meant as symbolic. It signifies that you can peel 80,000quid of your bankroll and not sweat it.

          If you can’t do that, then it probably means you are playing at much too high a level.
          When the action is too expensive, it means you are probably playing at the wrong table. For your own good, drop down a level and rebuild a proper-sized stack, or go find someone with serious money to properly bankroll you.

        2. Not joining = best way to save $129,000.

          I understand it, but this proves their economic situation is critical and this concerns me about their future.

      2. Isn’t the testing limits agreement also mostly a FOTA thing?
        It might enable them to have a go at testing between GPs to make the car work (or is it FIA mandated and part of the rules).

        1. nah, testing limit is in the rules. Ferrari would have quit long ago, if it was a fota thing.

    2. Also, FOTA won’t work unless it has all the teams in it. Seriously poor play by HRT, its a sportsmanship thing as much as anything else. Personally, I see no value having them on the grid.

      1. Completely agree, but at best at the moment HRT are going to turn up with a slighly heavier version of last years car with the double diffuser chopped off.

        I can’t imagine that they can stay with in 107% with a car which will have lost downforce.

        I don’t see them not being in Fota being an issue for long.

      2. Unfortunately HRT don’t actually bring anything to the grid. The backmarkers should be a platform for young drivers to get into F1 – yet HRT are so desperate for money their race seats are fought over by a series of old deluded has been pay drivers!

        1. Here here!

          Also, HRT aren’t exactly an influential player. FOTA would only be in trouble if one of the big teams left.

        2. Well – just to point out a fact: They beat Virgin last year.

          1. dyslexicbunny
            12th January 2011, 13:57

            One race with a huge part of the field out (including both Virgins). If it takes those kinds of circumstances to beat someone, they aren’t important.

      3. Agreed. Ok FOTA may be a manufacturer initative…but it’s for Fomula One the name suggests..and HRT are a ‘team’.

        I’m all for new start-ups. Lotus and Virgin for example. But there is a line I have to draw from what is grassroots teething to down right shambolic!

        1. Exactly. Minardi were loved because they were sportsmanlike. They were the tiny backmarkers who occasionally did well. HRT don’t even appear to be trying to make the grid at the moment. Leaving FOTA is akin to Ferrari being against all the other teams in the early 2000’s.

          Yes they beat Virgin – but completely by chance. Virgin have shown some good character in their losses as well.

      4. FOTA did ok when Williams left for a period in ’08, it did put a bit of a spanner in the works though.

        Then again, when Williams left it was far more controlled by Ferrari and Toyota.

  2. Okay so approximatley how long does anyone give HRT to survive into the next season?

    Do we think they’ll turn up in Bahrain with the same car as last year?

    What friend of Colin Kolles is going to be driving the other car?

    What ARE rice?

    1. good chance of using last years car at least for the start if they do get there… they havent kept anyone up to date on their own manufacturing processes, and the Toyota deal fell through.

    2. Some people didnt think they’d make the grid for 2010. They did.

      A minority doubted whether they’d make it to the European leg of races. They did.

      Some people didnt think they’d see out the 2010 season. They did.

      Dont write them off. I suspect there have been a few fininacial dealings in the off season that will see them through 2011. It will cost HRT more in fines for not being able to complete a season than it would for them to compete it!

      1. I dont doubt that they will be there in 2011. But i have a horrible feeling it will be the 2010 car, with poor drivers surrounded by blue flags again :(

        1. I guess they’d probably have the 107% rule to deal with this season though…

        2. With the 107% rule they may not even get onto the grid…

          1. Sorry, Scottie…didn’t mean to step on your comment.

          2. The 107% rule is only there to appease Ferrari. Lucas di Grassi held Alonso up in Canada – though from looking at replys, Alonso was way off the racing line without any explanation – and Button got by. Ferrari felt robbed of the position, and so lobbied hard for the 107% rule. The FIA bowed to their demands (probably in exchange for Ferrari conceding some other rule change), largely because the reintroduction of the rule is purely symbolic. Nobody expects any team to be consistently under it this year. Not even Hispania. Monaco was the only race this year where both cars were too far off the pace in qualifying.

      2. And it keeps the one thing of worth having its worth. The F1 entry can only be sold if the team survives and builds some sort of base for operating and working on develpments.

      3. Everybody laughs at them, but HRT were the second best new team, they beat Virgin on track, and beat USF1 to the track!!

      4. You can’t fine a team that doesn’t exist.

    3. I think the key word is “surviving”. They may well survive, but I fully expect it to be a repeat of 2010 with an underdeveloped car that is consistently way off the pace.

      The difference will be that I imagine Virgin and Team Lotus (or whatever they’re called by then) will have actually made some progress, leaving HRT further adrift than they were in 2010.

      1. The problem with HRT is there basically Minardi but not lovable. Quite nasty infact.

        1. You’ve hit the nail on the head there.

        2. If it weren’t for Kolles and his antics they’d be a LOT more lovable…

    4. looks like they are falling apart a bit. Today I saw their PR rep. now went to VIRGIN Racing!

      So yes, many of you have guessed it now, I have joined the @VirginRacing PR team!! I’m so, so excited!!

      1. dyslexicbunny
        12th January 2011, 14:00

        At least at Virgin the PR rep can answer new questions vs who’s driving this week!

  3. How much more credibility does F1 want to lose until Hispania are kicked out of the championship. I mean serioulsy last year they used 3 pay drivers and Klien who were switched and swapped each race, and then this year they sign another useless pay driver, whilst top quality drivers like Heidfeld and Hulkenburg are left without a drive. HRT have a useless car with no development, no testing and further more the team has no real support or proffesionalism. Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport for teams and drivers but HRT are serioulsy making F1 look bad.

    1. Ok, so I guess you are a “Union Man” then. HRT don’t have to join the union if they don’t want to.

    2. HRT arn’t making F1 look bad, big teams like Ferrari, Mclaren and Red Bull just sitting back and doing nothing to help them compete. That’s what is making F1 look bad.

      Secondly, HRT are obviously trying to save money… I don’t see why FOTA would be worth the 100,000 coins, considering how much say the big teams let HRT have anyway.

      1. I wouldn’t necessarily agree that FOTA isn’t worth that money. Besdides, the teams all stand to make far more money than they pay in membership fees if they stick together in the long run

        But I do agree the big teams should take a bigger share of the burden. It would’ve been a nice gesture to have each team pay a proportionate amount- eg 1% of their TV money or something- because it’d be a drop in the ocean to them.

        Alternatively, they could ask Bernie E to pay for it all? I hear he’s not short of a few quid himself and I’m sure he’d be delighted to help… haha

        1. Sure, Bernie will pay the bill for FOTA in exchange for the minor issue of them agreeing to a revenue split of 50:50 for another 50 years, LOL.

      2. HRT arn’t making F1 look bad, big teams like Ferrari, Mclaren and Red Bull just sitting back and doing nothing to help them compete. That’s what is making F1 look bad.

        But did those teams need help from competitors to become what they are today? Or did they just get their heads down (in one case building road cars just to fund their racing activities) and build themselves up from there? It’s the latter that 1Malaysia and Virgin are doing (and Force India have done), and I feel that will see them become far more competitive in the future.

        I do agree though, that HRT could save money since they aren’t likely to have much of a say or really contribute much to FOTA to get any value for money.

      3. Hear hear! What happened to all the technical assistance the bigger teams were supposed to offer the new teams??

        1. Well HRT themselves are getting a gearbox package from Williams, Team Lotus have a similar arrangement with Red Bull, and Force India have a tie-up with McLaren.

          Of course such help doesn’t come for free, the smaller teams still have to pay, which is only fair. Then it comes back to the fact that if you can’t afford to play the game then you really shouldn’t be taking part.

    3. how is HRT making F1 look bad? noone really cares about how they’re going in a race anyway. Its just another team making the grid look bigger, and in my opinion thats always a good thing

      1. yeah maybe a bit harsh, I just think they would be better developing the car and picking good drivers instead of seemingly ever changing pay drivers. I haven’t seen the inside of the team but from the outside looking in compared to Lotus and Virgin they seem unlikely to move forward.

        1. developing the car and picking good drivers

          I suppose you’ll be providing the budget?

          1. Yes Mike I will provide the budget. No this is where we need some sort of budget cap, or resource relocation, something that even’s the team’s up.

          2. Now I agree with you.

  4. Actually Adrian Sutil is 28 today.

    Happy Birthday!

    1. Argh – still not used to it being 2011! Thanks robk23, have changed it.

  5. If all teams paid 100,000 euros last year, that made it over $1,564,163.6 (Australian dollers)….
    And the Aus doller has been going up all year so really it’s more than that.

    Holy cow…. For the amount of money they had they sure did a lot of absolutely nothing…..
    Imagine what could be done with that amount of money, I mean sure, some would have to be spent on the tea and coffee making facilities, and you can’t forget a few biscuits… But that still leaves a ridiculous sum, considering what they managed to do this year… Very little.

    1. For an F1 outfit, 100,000 Euros is a joke. If they cannot afford to pay this petty amount, I have no idea what budgets they have planned for the rest of this year. I do not understand why you are defending HRT. This team sinks to new lows every day.

      1. 100000 out of 20M is still 0.5% of your budget. Think about that.

      2. Eh, maybe your right, I just kinda feel that the guy who’s barely surviving needs some sticking up for. It’s all to easy to be a fan of they guy with the budget counted in the hundreds of millions…

        For an F1 outfit, 100,000 Euros is a joke.

        Start counting the amount of outfits who have left F1 due to the money running out, and you may see where I’m coming from.

    2. i agree with your point.. where does all the money go?

      1. For one, staff. Like people in press and communications, which are the most imprtant area for these guys. For 1,5 million, you can hire about 15 people (given that you also have to house them, provide furniture, PC’s and give them maybe some training). Also, they’re maintaining a website, which on a professional level just costs a lot of money as well.

        And I think I can go on.

        On a corporate level the money is nothing.

        However, in general (a few) smart people can do things a lot cheaper and maybe even better then what has become corporate culture.

        But that’s another issue…

        1. I forgot, in euros it’s even less money!

  6. Perhaps Fangio really was a nice chap- I can’t say I know much about him other than his racing exploits- but I wonder if we all look back at him with rose tinted glasses, like many people do with Senna.

    I have heard one anecdote about Fangio that someone posted in on here a while back. It was something along the lines of him deliberately going off the track to kick dirt up into the path of his opponents. That’s unsportsmanlike today but back then it would have been endangering a competitors life.

    Perhaps someone can eloborate on this? My point is that I’m sceptical that anyone could win so many world titles in a sport as cut throat as F1 and come out smelling of roses

    1. I’ve read that too Ned, but it wasn’t about Fangio, it was another racer – possibly Hawthorn, or just someone else. It might simply have been something that all drivers did, i’m not sure.

      Incidentally, I would agree with Fangio and rose tinted glasses. Then again, I’m not even sure you can compare the sport in the 50’s with the sport today – such is the difference between the equipment and performance level of the drivers nowadays

    2. i’ve heard about seb loeb deliberately hitting dirt mounds, and trying to drag dirt into the path of the next car.. but in rally its a whole different ball game.

      1. There’s a bit about it in Gerald Donaldson’s book on Fangio. I’m too lazy to look up the exact passage but I think it was during one of the huge South American road races he was doing it, before he nearly had an accident as a result of someone else doing it and he then realised the huge danger involved with it and then stopped.

        Farina is the chap who was somewhat overaggressive, but I think Fangio was quite a gentlemanly driver, even by the standards of the 50’s.

    3. To Ned, yes that was me who bought up up that situation about Fangio a while back. It’s at chapter 6 page 76-77 on Gerald Donaldson’s “Fangio, life behind the legend”. I’ll just write it up again: “(Fangio just losing his “guide dog” in front because of them hitting a donkey.) Juan scarcely slackens his speed, though maintaining such a pace through the nearly impenetrable murk required tremendous concentration that severly sapped his dwindling reserves of mental strength and alertness. To sharpen his focus he began to discourage a closely following car by cutting corners, driving off the edge of the asphalt surface and throwing up dust that combined dangerously with the fog to impair the vision of his pursuer. His companion shouted at Juan to stop playing dirty, pointing out that Juan had no compunction about sitting on the tail of the departed Peruvian’s car. Juan quickly obeyed his friend’s command; he knew that Urrutia was above all a decent man. And despite their recent estrangement, Juan now welcomed his friends insistence that he should conduct himself with the sense of fair play that usually governed his driving.”

      That was in 1948.

      If I remember right I brought it up last time because someone said unlike senna and schumi, Fangio never resorted to cheating of course I know because I read the book and didn’t have the option to see it on YouTube.

  7. RIP Derek Gardner. You will always be remembered by the P34

  8. It’s just one more “driver aid” – Happens quite a lot in tin top series

    1. That was to Ned

  9. I wonder whether leaving FOTA will be a good thing for a small team like HRT when FOTA is trying to get more money out of Bernie (FOM).They are also trying to help chance the rules & regulation to save as little money as possible for themselves.I wonder whether the main reason why HRT left is that they want to save that money.

    1. Television rights are paid to the teams regardless of whether they are a member of FOTA or not.

    2. Or maybe they expect Bernie to sign them up upfront to break the FOTA club, that would really damage F1 :-D

  10. Joe Saward reckons there is a “whisper out of Japan” that Red Bull will have their Renault engines re-badged as Infiniti for 2011. Infiniti is to Nissan what Lexus is to Toyota – the luxury cars division – and Nissan is Renault’s sister company.

    Personally, I’ll believe it when I see it.

    1. Renault-Nissan Alliance. Joint development of economical and electric vehicles.
      The reason why Nissan probably won’t joi F1 as a true engine maker – they are so close to Renault these days – makes sense I guess to rebadge a Renault badge.

    2. seems interesting, especially as most other japanese brands pulled out of F1

      like you, i’ll believe it when i see it

      1. I think it would make more sense to rebadge Team Lotus’ engines as “Infiniti”. Then you’d have Lotus Renault GP and Team Lotus-Infiniti, which would be enough to separate the two to the layman. The commentators would refer to them as Lotus Renault and Lotus Infiniti for sure, which is good for Infiniti because their name would always be mentioned. And they’d be attached to a very popular team.

        1. Love Saward or hate him the last piece of his article is brilliant:

          “The other thing that I heard recently that made me laugh a lot was the remark that it was hard to understand why the Chapman Family was opposed to having two Lotus teams as the company founder Colin Chapman spent the last part of life trying to get F1 to allow him to run twin chassis…”

    3. Worst name combination since Williams-Mechachrome

      1. And BMW-Sauber-Ferrari.

  11. Looks like a lot of people will have to start being Alonso fans now. He is growing himself a ‘tache to mach Keke and Nigel!
    Looks a lot better than the full beard.

    Whom do they want to fool with the curved half a pack of Marlbs on their uniforms instead of that bar code?

    1. Ahahaha, i agree. A mo like that could turn even the biggest hater into a fan

    2. he has come to clean zeee poooool

    3. He looks to be cultivating a ‘pirate-chic’ look to me! I’d love to see him ditch the goatee and add some handlebars on that stache. To be honest I miss his unibrow a bit too…

  12. HounslowBusGarage
    11th January 2011, 8:44

    There’s an interesting backgreound article here on the mutterings about Red Bull spending and the RRA.
    Can anyone recall where the RRA came from; FOTA or just the teams ‘collectively’?

    1. FOTA, I think. It was their response to Mosley’s budget cap.

  13. Had an email from the BBC saying they are aiming to make an announcement on their F1 team line-up later today. Regular round-up readers will know there have been several rumours that Martin Brundle and David Coulthard will be the commentary line-up for 2011.

    Lots of commentary on this on Twitter including from Jonathan Legard, remember you can follow breaking developments on the F1 Fanatic Twitter app.

    1. and its official, thanks for the link

  14. lets not forget that €100,000 is alot of money.

    Its better spent getting their car to testing sessions and improving it then on FOTA

  15. $100,000 is a farse! 1.3 million goes towards what? Lots sandwiches at the Fota meeting, a throne for Whitmarsh or a new car for Bernie maybe

    1. Oh and sorry, didn’t know how the tags worked there.

  16. It is quite sad that HRT even considered joining such a big and expensive sport without the finances to keep them moving forward. Why take on a challenge that you know you cant compete in? The real good drivers dont have the sponsorship to join better teams but the weaker teams are just far too weak. All they are doing is taking up space and wasting good talent because drivers know their reputation is going to go down in HRT. Glock was even able to outqualify the HRT consistently.

  17. That’s the problem with what the sport and world economy has become. In HRT defense they were promised money from sponsors/drivers, but when the results don’t come forth ( enabled by money ) the sponsors see no reason to part with their money. It’s a double edged sword, why would Karuns sponsors put money into an outfit that barely makes the grid, there’s is no return in that investment, yet the team needs further finances to develop their car and improve their chances.

  18. HRT are trying to go racing and survive as a racing entity. FOTA at the moment does absolutely nothing for them. The money saved can be used to pay one more technician.

    Toyota with billions in profit pulled out of F1, HRT with hardly a crumb to its name, has come into F1.
    Rather than throwing insults at the team, I’d rather we appreciate the monumental effort they are making to get by.

    Even Williams, a multiple world championship winning team has had to take a pay driver. Its just a sign of the difficult times we live in.

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