Narain Karthikeyan, HRT, Monaco, 2012

HRT put up for sale by Thesan Capital

2012 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Narain Karthikeyan, HRT, Monaco, 2012Spanish F1 team HRT says it has been put up for sale by owners Thesan Capital.

“The current owners of HRT Formula 1 Team, TC II S.a.rl., would like to confirm that they are currently in talks with a number of groups interested in buying the team,” said the team in a statement on its website.

“HRT Formula 1 Team’s current management hopes to conclude the sale in the upcoming weeks and, with it, enable the team to continue progressing and become a reference in modern-day Formula 1 after the important achievements already accomplished in this 2012 season.

“HRT Formula 1 Team hopes to communicate the name of its new owner in the upcoming weeks. We believe the moment to let new investors come through for HRT Formula 1 Team has arrived.

“We’re very proud of the work done by the entire team and of the excellent sporting evolution achieved but 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.”

HRT was originally formed by ex-F1 driver Adrian Campos to enter as Campos Meta in 2010. But it changed owners before the season began and became Hispania Racing Team.

Thesan bought the team last year, when it finished 11th in the constructors’ championship for the second year in a row. The team is still to score its first point, and is currently 12th in the standings.

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105 comments on “HRT put up for sale by Thesan Capital”

  1. It amazes me how this team is still running. Still yet to make it past a single season without being sold

    1. Silly idea – let’s have a Spanish team and we’ll get lots of Spanish interest and money in. There are reasons for silicon valley and reasons why most F1 teams are in the UK. Being located in Madrid is just pointless and incrementally costly.

      To buy something it requires to have some kind of value. Other than second hand brakes, why buy HRT. Let them go bust, get any kit that’s any good for 20c in the $ and set up in England.

      I fear 11 teams and 19 races 2013 – good job the float has been set back to 2014 eh Bernie?

      1. Exactly @thejudge13 , there will probably be little interest because of their location. If they were based in the UK or in Italy it may be a different story, but in Spain it makes no economic or competitive sense.

        I’d welcome the presence of a Japanese or German manufacturer on the grid next year or in 2014, it would make more sense now with the new turbos and aerodynamic restrictions.

    2. Back in 2009/10 they should have let the dude who wanted to buy the cars from Toyota race. That team would have been WAY more competitive than the “trio”.
      HRT is just a joke. Their cars would struggle to be competitive in GP2, let alone in F1.

      Customer cars should definitely be implemented in F1…

      1. Their cars would struggle to be competitive in GP2, let alone in F1.

        That is categorically wrong.

        Customer cars should definitely be implemented in F1…

        I don’t think you have thought that out at all, nor do you do any service to the history of F1.

  2. Time to revive the Minardi team. Giancarlo, where are you?

    1. I was thinking in Minardi too… I don´t think he will come back, If I´m correct he is in some sort of Young Italians Drivers Program or somethin like that…

    2. @fer-no65 I was thinking more along the lines of USF1. Having an American team enter next year, with the CotA, and possibly the New Jersey races, would most definitely boost American interest in F1, which is wavering at best.

      1. USF1 is permanently banned from the FIA and Formula 1.

        “On June 24, the FIA World Motor Sport Council conducted a disciplinary hearing into US F1’s failure to compete in the 2010 season. The team was fined €309,000 plus the costs of the hearing, and banned from competing in any FIA-sanctioned championship.[39″

        1. So let’s make it “team Racing America – Competitive Spirit” – TRACS, I guess name doesn’t matter so much, if it has American presence.

      2. @timi the problem with an American team is that it’s a lot more difficult in terms of logistic for a team to be based in America rather than Europe.

        It’d be great, though !

        1. problem with an American team is that it’s a lot more difficult in terms of logistic for a team to be based in America rather than Europe

          . Indeed – when basing it in spain was tough, basing it in the US will be tougher, even when getting into a motorsport cluster there (good people will be well paid there too)

      3. I wish Penske would buy it. He’s worth a couple of billion, so has some money to spare. He fielded some F1 cars back in the day. I always wished he would have stuck with it.

  3. after the important achievements already accomplished in this 2012 season.

    What achievement?

    1. They are not always last?

    2. Their achievement of now not only still being the slowest car, but now the slowest car AND a death-trap, with disintegrating brakes and other disastrous faults that allow things like the Rosberg-Karthikeyan crash in Abu Dhabi to occur.

      1. Karthikeyan’s problem was the sudden and complete loss of drive – which is exactly what happened to Lewis Hamilton. I don’t see you criticising McLaren for that.

        Rosberg’s problem, on the other hand, was that he mistook Karthikeyan’s terminal problem for the Indian moving aside, misjudged the closing speeds, and attempted to pass the HRT on a section of the circuit where passes rarely (if ever) happen.

        That’s hardly the team’s fault.

        1. But don’t let logic get in the way of a good rant!

    3. @sumedhvidwans

      I think they’ve achieved a lot. This season they held on to the same two drivers all year, relocated their entire operation to their home country (into a purpose built factory) and have established themselves a young driver programme with Ma Qing Hua.

      1. And they even had developments that helped them get faster too @andrewtanner @sumedhvidwans, look at their qualifying times, they have generally gotten a lot closer to those before them, and the leaders.

        I do think this team if finally on the rails. They perhaps haven’t passed many stations yet, but that makes this the right time to sell, ready to receive interest en energy from a new enthousiastic owner, and before they start a trip in the wrong direction.

  4. Taking bets now on how many names this team will accrue before it eventually and definitively bites the dust…

    Including campos meta, my estimate is 5.

  5. We believe the moment to let new investors come through for HRT Formula 1 Team has arrived.

    Because until this point they had been flush with cash, obviously.

    Perhaps between us we could chip in to buy them some new sets of brake discs to get them to the end of the season?

    1. they can have the set off of my Mum’s Corsa if they want them.

      1. LOL… Sad….

      2. @andy92 Funny, I have a couple of brake pads somewhere… from a Corsa too !

        We’re getting somewhere !

    2. They are probably already out of money by now … And the income will only arrive in some months from the new owner … That’s like they will miss the season start again

    3. A bit unfair. I mean yes they’re at the back, but we all know the astronomical figures needed to even get a car on the F1 grid. I don’t doubt that the people behind HRT are equally as passionate about their racing as those at the front of the grid, and if they’re jobs are potentially on the line then I feel for them rather than laugh at them.

      1. Well said.

    4. Cause all we need
      Is more money and some speed
      KERS would make our lives complete

      It’s so uncool
      When Rosberg makes you move
      Pedro, do it like you do

      (Lyrics by Justin Bieber & Narain Karthikeyan)

      1. Nice Girts! LOL.

    5. How many F1 Fanatics are there? How many would we need if we all put in $100 each for a season to run an F1 team? :) haha

      1. hahahahahahaha… I was going to say that if all of us were to find a few sets of brake pads, we could sell them for a tidy profit and by a few shares in the team. I bet Keith would love to have his website advertised on the side of any F1 car! The logo for his website could be a brake pad!

        1. I meant “buy” not “by” lol

    6. I’ll chip in with the aerodynamics, their front wings are looking rather…rectangular.

    7. It really seems they are already quite close on everything, so maybe those brakes will indeed get them to actually compete @Keithcollantine

      Reports from Spain point to the fact the team brought only the absolute minimum to Austin (Freight cost and having to have the equipment in the first place – 5 sets for all the races? – might be the reason for this though) .

      1. Not sure how reliable this is, but it seems Thesan Capital are looking to sell for about 40 Million, and they need the cash before December if they don’t want to close shop.

        Buyers from Abu Dhabi being mentioned (that’ll be the ones talks fell through with last week then?), and India – maybe they are trying to push Tata to be involved in a bigger way? Or just journalists combining loose ends to a story.

  6. Well, not really surprised, but I don’t think much will change. I wouldn’t mind a namechange though… It’s pretty hard being a fan of teams such as Hispania Racing Team or Sahara Force India if you’re not Spanish or Indian yourself. It’s not really a problem, but if all 12 teams were to carry names associating them with their country of origin, I don’t think I’d like that. I like Sauber because it’s such a neutral team… but they’re Swiss so it comes natural to them! Kind of a paradox though…

    1. It’s easy to be a fan of Force India. They aren’t the type of team to be lusting for pay drivers despite being a midfielder.

      1. Not yet, no… but how long is that gonna take?

    2. I wouldn’t mind a namechange though… It’s pretty hard being a fan of teams such as Hispania Racing Team or Sahara Force India if you’re not Spanish or Indian yourself. It’s not really a problem, but if all 12 teams were to carry names associating them with their country of origin, I don’t think I’d like that.

      Very good point

    3. @roald HRT sent me an ID card for their official fan club. I hope it remains valid. @keithcollantine Considering that they managed to spend money for the cards and postage, they aren’t in such a dire situation?

  7. F1 should be a little more similar to other sports, like soccer, in which teams go up or down the top category according their points. The small teams have the right to participate, I know that. But to have 3 teams not scoring any poiint in 3 years is embarrasing for the top racing sport. They don’t have the money, I know, but if i don’t have the money to afford a cruise trip, I’ll take a bus or ride my bike. Business are about mone6, but sports is about competition and improving. This team was 11th for two years and now 12th. They can probably manage a 12th place if there would be a mayor bunch of cars crashing and abandoning in front of them, and even though they would have to complete the race, which looks so difficult for them! So dissapointiing to see they are “proud of their achievements”.

    1. That’s impossible. You mean to tell us you want last year’s winning GP2 team to participate in F1? I can assure you they’ll be even slower. They’d have to build a new car, just like Caterham/Marussia/HRT would, so what’s the difference?

      1. The difference is they have next to no infrastructure to build an F1 car, unless of course they’re owned by an F1 team.

      2. @roald No, not in that way. The point is that I don’t know how on earth these 3 teams got the green light to start in F1. HRT, at least, didn’t have any great backing which would let a steady progress into the category. Probably just 10 teams should be ok, or at least FIA or F1 Bernie should warn to these 3 teams, to see if these 3 teams can fight for points more aggressively, that the last of them should leave the category. I bet you they would improve a lot to continue

    2. That’ll be difficult as many GP2 and GP3 teams have parent teams in F1, i.e. Lotus, Caterham, Marussia.

      1. And some of them don’t want to race in Formula 1. When HRT was up for sale last year, Alejandro Agag, who runs Barwa Addax, said he wasn’t bidding for the team because he didn’t want to enter Formula 1.

  8. marussia are looking much better this year and with KERS next year hopefully they will be mixing it up. Caterham, I have a feeling they will get a lot more input from Renault now with their new team principle. Just hoping that Coca cola or pepsi buys the team, pump loads of money in and get them competive, we could have and awesome seasion in 2013, even better than this one, and it has been a great year this one.

  9. This team will change it’s owners until a really serious company buys it. There loads of rich companies in the world, which could own F1 team or it could be a great opportunity for one of the car manufacturers to enter F1, for example Hyundai or Kia.

  10. This could a be a good chance for a new manufacturer to step into the sport could it not? It would save having to create a new team and wait for an open slot on the entry list…

    1. There already is an open spot on the entry list – the upper limit on teams is 13.

    2. They would save the ‘deposit’ of 40 million, which is enough money to run a team like HRT for a year.
      And all assets in Spain could be sold as well, I mean with or without those would probably make no difference at all.

      Shame there’s no reason for most manufacturers to be in F1 at all…

      1. @ryanwilliams @keithcollantine Volkswagen/Porsche team for 2014 anyone???

        1. Audi I think personally @timi although they may utterly dominate like they have in Le Mans!

          1. I think it would be great if the VAG owned f1 team is called Lamborghini thay still can put porsche/vw/audi logos everywhere but it will sound better and they can locate their factory in italy!

          2. Honda?

      2. Wouldn’t start trying to sell many infrastructure assets in Spain at the moment @verstappen, that seems like it would be guaranteed to make a loss (on paper, which is all that counts in such small quantities for a real manufacturer), so they are better off using it until they have a top notch new thing in UK or something.

        1. You are right about this not being the moment to sell infrastructure @bosyber. But I would be surprised if they owned more than autoclaves and things like that. The building is surely fully owned by the city.
          So then if someone buys it, they would be far more likely to have a look at some of the facilities in the UK being free. Who knows, maybe some of the assets from Lola can be put to use. And I would figure theres quite another few racing outfits that went bust in the last couple of years that would be the place to make the team settle in.
          It also seems that one of the few people showing a bit of interest is our old pall Kolles!

          1. Our comeback dentist!

            – and to come back to my earlier point: an entry in F1 as such already has a value. If you can buy that for the right price, it doesn’t matter what happens to the ‘assets’ of the team. Even write off is no problem if you’re buying for the right price. Because indeed selling anything in Spain right now is difficult!

  11. I know it’s very easy to look at the three ‘newish’ teams and say that they’re underperforming badly because none have scored a point, but I think that’s actually a little unfair. Firstly it’s important to recognise that the performance differential between these three slowest teams and the frontrunners is far smaller than it has been in the past. I recall the days of backmarkers being lapped up to ten times. In those days a team which could consistently finish less than three laps down on the leaders would be considered a solid midfield prospect.

    In the days of Minardi it was also generally the case that up to 50% of cars may not make it to the end of the race, so a team which could simply finish every race was almost guaranteed to score a point somewhere along the way. in these days of ultimate reliability, even a team like Marussia who more often than not finish the race with one or both of their cars less than four laps off the lead, will have no hope of scoring points. Yet Caterham and Marussia are both very professional outfits with good facilities and large financial backers. Yes, it’s true that by their own targets they’ve underperformed, but they have the kind of finish rate which would put many a previous backmarker team to shame.

    HRT unfortunately have failed to take the same steps forward. Of course, someone is always going to be last, regardless, but things like finger trouble and brakes regularly failing are the hallmarks of a team which has badly lost its way. I do think that with solid backing and the right people at the helm, they could turn it all around, but it’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to buy them out at this point. Not with the serious intention of getting them into the midfield anyway.

    1. I agree with this view. I remember an interview with Pedro de la Rosa at the beginning of the session and he revealed that HRT were setting very realistic goals: “In two or three races we expect to be fighting with the Marussias”, he said (a comment that prompted a huge list of jokes). But the Marussias improved too, and a faster pace, and HRT were left in the rain. Plagued by mechanical problems as a consequence of lack of money, there you have one more time languishing. Also, it seems to me that a Spaniard outfit choose the bad time to go into an activity as cash-demanding as F1.
      I hope HRT put its shifts together and keep racing.

  12. Perhaps Zoran Stefanović smells an opportunity? I would prefer someone buying the team and actually trying to pump some Benjamins in there to get the team up the order. The lowest three teams have been racing in a class of their own and that needs to end next year! Caterham seems to be up for it and Marussia has finally taken off so it would only take a serious money-injection in HRT to help them. Off course you need more than money only to get better results but surely it wouldn’t hurt them.

    1. Stefanovic has been shut down. For good, it seems.

  13. Traverse Mark Senior
    12th November 2012, 21:19

    Let’s have a whip-round and see if we can raise enough to buy them. We could name the team “F1F F1″ and of course Keith would be the team principle. I would be technical director (as I know how to direct…technical…stuff) and @prisoner-monkeys (if that is his real name) could be head of PR…and making the coffee ;-)

    1. A well aimed handful of excrement would really liven up a press conference.;-o)

    2. I could do the team radio, that is my job anyway, sounds like a plan

    3. I would be technical director (as I know how to direct…technical…stuff) and Prisoner Monkeys (if that is his real name) could be head of PR…and making the coffee

      Why do you assume I would want the job? Or any job within the team? I have a great job, one that I wouldn’t give up for the chance to be a part of any Formula 1 team. Mostly because I think that being a part of the sport might dull some of its appeal, but also because I really like my current job.

      And no, I’m not in public relations.

      1. Maybe we could launch a young driver platform and ask you to head that in your spare time!

    4. Since PM has stated his non-interest, I’ll be the PR man!

    5. Traverse Mark Senior
      13th November 2012, 13:04

      @scuderiavincero You’re Hired!…(Minimum wage). @bascb You could head up the young driver programme, and @dodge5847 & @hohum can be race engineers to our drivers. All we need now is a pit crew…

      1. I could be part of the additional technical staff. Also I can do fuel calculations!

        1. Traverse Mark Senior
          13th November 2012, 19:57

          @infinitygc Congrats, You’re Hired! Make sure you bring your own calculator though, we’re operating on a tight budget. ;-)

      2. I’d rather do the logistics and possibly operations. Driver spotting is not my fortĂ©!

        1. Traverse Mark Senior
          13th November 2012, 20:00

          @bascb Agreed, You can be in charge of logistics, welcome aboard!

      3. I’d like to apply for lollipop man job…

        1. Traverse Mark Senior
          13th November 2012, 20:09

          As operating a lollipop is a highly skilled and dangerous job that takes years (if not decades) to master, we’ll need someone with at least 56 years and 4 months worth of experience. If you fit the criteria @snafu, you’re hired!

    6. Traverse Mark Senior
      13th November 2012, 20:39

      The big question is…what will our driver line up look like? Who should we sign?

      1. Alain Prost has to be on out shortlist! Let the professor teach the kids a thing or two. If he’s not available, Nigel Mansell. According to Coulthard he never actually announced his retirement.

  14. As more and more restrictions are put on the design of, and the components allowed in a F1 car, there becomes less and less justification for business to become involved in F1, this is the paradox that F1 has to overcome to ensure its future.

    1. @hohum – Can you please point out the part of the article where someone from Thesan Capital says “We’re selling the team because we’re not allowed to design our cars the way we want to”? Because I might have missed it every time I read the article.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys, it’s not there, I was referring to the dearth of potential buyers, which I believe is partly due to the lack of opportunity to design a performance advantage that can be linked to a core business product. I had companies like Vanwal in mind, unfortunately no-one wants to link themselves with a high coefficient of drag.

        1. @hohum – If you want to encourage new buyers, deregulating the technical regulations will do absolutely nothing. It might allow smaller teams to design something that would give a performance advantage, but it will also allow the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari to also design something that would give a performance advantage.

          If you really want to encourage new buyers, then the sport needs to cut costs. Drastically. Any new owner of a team shouldn’t have to commit $50 million just to trundle around at the back of the grid. And they shouldn’t have to spend $400 million to win races (and with no guarantee of success). Costs need to come down to the point where top teams are spending no more than $100 million per season. At least; more would be preferable.

          Restrictive design regulations aren’t killing off the competition. The arms race is.

          1. @prisoner-monkeys, I believe that costs are so high because the design restrictions force the teams into the “aero”design war. I think other avenues of development could be cheaper and equally effective eg. if you could find a little more power you could apply a little more wing and finding a little more power is far more useful in general than finding a way to attach exhaust flow to the floor.

          2. No, costs are up because the teams know that the more they spend, the more competitive they will be. Deregulating the design restrictions will only encourage more irresponsible spending because teams will have a greater range of ares to spend their money on.

  15. I hope this ends up being good news for the team. They’re a good little outfit with a professional infrastructure established off track in Madrid and some progress made to putting one place on track with their driver development programme. I wish them the best of luck and hope we can see some injection soon to see them in Februrary to hit the ground running in March.

  16. Achievements? What the **** have they actually achieved? They’re just mobile chicanes, and recently they haven’t even been able to do that properly as they keep retiring with brake failure’s or what not.

    Let’s be honest, if HRT suddenly dissapeared, would anyone actually notice?

  17. seat could buy the team. it would also be vw’s gateway to f1.

  18. They should go to Brazil. Russia is involved with Marussia, India with Force India, the Spanish market seems very weak right now but the Brazilian seems strong. Or the could sell the team to a Chinese enterprise. HRT already test a Chinese driver this year so could be a perfect deal for them.

    1. That’s why there are two drivers from Brazil. Until PDVSA put the cash in Williams, that role belonged to Petrobras. But after Copersucar, I may be wrong but don’t see the country jumping on in the short term…

  19. Narain he is trying to stay with HRT (2013) now the team is on sale, what will happen to Narain ….a big…..?,

  20. Probably want to cash in on all that capital investment they have done with the factory etc with out suffering huge tax consequences. Wouldn’t be surprised if they sell it to their sister company of some sort :)

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