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F1

Public Group active 13 hours, 27 minutes ago

F1 discussion

Is this HRT’s end?

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This topic contains 19 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Prisoner Monkeys Prisoner Monkeys 1 year, 10 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)
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  • #132376
    Profile photo of the_sigman
    the_sigman
    Participant

    I have seen many websites having a part of an interview an HRT member saying that the 26th November will be thei inal day at work. As soon as I find a link I’ll post it.

    #215152
    Profile photo of Antonio Nartea
    Antonio Nartea
    Participant

    @sigman1998

    The commentators here mentioned a rumour or two. Apparently HRT is letting 30-some of their staff go before the end of the season. I don’t know if it’s true but if that’s the case, that interview might have been with one of those particular fellows being sacked…

    But I think it’s obvious anyway that if HRT don’t find a buyer soon they don’t have a chance to be on the grid next year. They froze the development of the car and they are bringing themselves to the last GPs of the season with the little they have left only because the Concorde agreement doesn’t allow them to step out right away. As far as next season goes, either someone boosts their accounts or it’s goodbye F1…

    #215153
    Profile photo of Nick
    Nick
    Participant

    Some other rumors from the Facebook page of Dutch site F1Today (https://www.facebook.com/f1today.nl) :

    – An anonymous employee said that a sale to a group from Qatar fell through at the final moment, which lead to the current situation.
    – A second anonymous employee stated HRT’s offices are empty.
    – Yet another employee stated Thesan decided that the team was no longer profitable, instead of the team actually having no cash left and Thesan will not run HRT in 2013 if it’s not sold.

    I’ve never been a fan of HRT, but still, bad news for the people who work there and they were seemingly making progress this year. As @tony031r stated, they have to comply with the Concorde Agreement and attend the remaining races, but their pace yesterday spoke volumes about how HRT is doing now.

    #215154
    Profile photo of matthew
    matthew
    Participant

    end of the day hrt have never been a strong team in the two years they have been running they haven’t scored a single point. all other bottom teams have done so even having lotus on the up.

    not sure why but they just haven’t done well, partly the poor driver picks or lack of

    6.1 secs from pole and 1 sec behind the next slowest car isnt good for sponsor or finacial deals that on top of 0 point in 3 seasons.

    #215155
    Profile photo of Antonio Nartea
    Antonio Nartea
    Participant

    not sure why but they just haven’t done well, partly the poor driver picks or lack of

    I’ll argue on this. De La Rosa is definitely not a poor driver pick. Sure, he’s not the kind of driver that overperforms and puts the car positions above where it belongs but he’s experienced and has “some” speed. HRT simply can’t afford to progress anymore. Right now there’s not even a cent left in that establishment’s accounts other that the strictly neccessary to see them through to the end of the season. Maybe not even that. They’re running a season on 40 mil. for christ’s sake…Caterham are thereabouts in terms of performance, haven’t scored a point yet either, have been beaten by Marussia in the WDC and they spend considerably more money.

    That’s all there is to it, with HRT. The lack of finances. Can’t blame the drivers…not even Karthikeyan.
    And even if they were at fault, without Karthikeyan’s Tata money HRT would have been long gone…let’s face it. All the rather decent pay-drivers: Maldonado, Senna, Alguersuari, Gutierrez, Bottas and so on won’t even consider HRT and the spanish team can’t even afford new brakes, nevermind two payed drivers. So that leaves guys like Karthikeyan or Ma as their only options anyway…

    they haven’t scored a single point. all other bottom teams have done so

    No they didn’t. Marussia (Virgin) and Caterham (Lotus) are yet to score their first point in F1.

    And, bottom line, even though the HRTs are nothing more than mobile chicanes, I’d hate to see them go. Their departure would be too reminiscent of the 2000s era, when teams like Arrows, Super Aguri or Jordan / Midland / Spyker were constantly forced to declare themselves bankrupt and call it a day mid-season. And HRT is not the only team having financial difficulties. Marussia has a 40 mil. debt to cover while Force India is struggling as well. HRT exiting the sport could just be the first blow and 22 cars on the grid might very well become 20 or 18 in one or two seasons time. Remember what happened to the MotoGP grid a couple of years back, before introducing CRTs?

    #215156
    Profile photo of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    Spanish papers are reporting that the team has until 2 December to find a buyer or it’s game over. After that, the turkey gets carved up and the pieces sold off. Which makes no sense to me, since to my mind, Thesan Capital could get more money for the whole team rather than the parts. But I suppose they don’t want to have a team they can’t use sitting around doing nothing.

    They shouldn’t really have any problem selling it off, though. Yes, the team is uncompetitive, but they have minimal assets. It’s basically just the cars and a lease on property in Madrid. Everything else is subcontracted out. Theoretically, someone could buy up the entry, drop the property, and pay for the outsourcing long enough to establish themselves as a proper team. It overcomes the initial problem of buying a Formula 1 team: once you’ve purchased it, you have to commit twice as much again to developing it. But if the purchase price is low, it would be appealing to prospective buyers.

    That said, I’m not buying the Qatari story for a minute. The Qataris have money, but they also have brains. They’re not going to invest in an unprofitable venture like Formula 1. Their deal with Williams is strategic, so that they gain the rights to the commercial applications of technology like KERS. Formula 1 seems to love starting stories about how rich Middle Eastern countries are on the verge of buying into a team.

    Then again, maybe I just want the Kazakhstan stories to be true.

    #215157
    Profile photo of Guilherme
    Guilherme
    Participant

    I don’t see anyone buying the team, given their location. I mean, besides Spanish entrepeneurs, who’d want a team based in Madrid? It is extremely hard to set up a team outside the UK, and, to a lesser extent, northern Italy, since the talent poll needed to work in an F1 team usually lives mostly in those two countries.

    I really felt this was going to happen when they announced the team was moving to Spain. It seemed like an awful lot of money spent just so they could spend much more trying to keep running their team.

    #215158
    Profile photo of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    @guilherme

    besides Spanish entrepeneurs, who’d want a team based in Madrid? It is extremely hard to set up a team outside the UK

    But that’s the beauty of HRT’s current predicament: they don’t have any fixed assets outside their cars and transporters. All they really have is a lease on Caja Magica and some personnel; everything else is out-sourced. And even then, the cars will probably be out-dated in a week when the championship wraps up. So all an aspiring team owner would have to do is buy HRT’s entry, then redirect the few existing resources that they do have to a new location. There’s probably a few places in the UK that would suffice; after all, both Marussia and Caterham recently moved.

    I’m willing to bet that this has been Thesan Capital’s plan for a while now: to strip the team down to its core elements, then sell it off in such a way that it could easily be picked up by any interested buyers.

    #215159
    Profile photo of Antonio Nartea
    Antonio Nartea
    Participant

    I don’t see anyone buying the team

    It’s pros and cons here. @prisoner-monkeys is right. If someone wants a buy into Formula 1 and has about 100 mil. to spend, HRT is a great option. Buy the team, get the spot on the grid, get the cars, trucks and whatever logistic and technical equipment they have left, move it all somewhere in the UK, Germany or Italy, keep whoever’s worthy to keep of its personnel, scrap all the rest, bring new heads in, bring new drivers, bring new sponsors and start rebuilding with a purpose, while constantly investing more and more money into it in order to allow the team to progress.

    But yeah, I don’t think we should ask ourselves WHY should someone buy HRT, it’s clearly a bargain! We should ask ourselves WHO will / WILL someone buy it? The state in which HRT’s been left by Thesan is apparently much worse than they fooled us to think. And if someone buys it and wants to actually take it somewhere in a couple of years time has to have nerves of steel, a great deal of know-how about motor racing, some passion and a couple hundred mil. to spend on the relocation, renovation, reorganization and participation (within 107% limits) in a full 2013 season. Who on earth is willing to do that in the current financial climate?

    I say it’s a 0.1% chance it will end up in someone like Carlos Slim’s hands and a 99.9% chance it will end up with another investment firm like Thesan Capital (be it qatari or chinese or kazakhstani or whatever) or never get sold at all.

    I’d love to read this headline though, unrealistic as it may seem: “Honda buys HRT, keeps it off the grid in 2013 in order to rebuild it properly, enters a works team starting 2014″. This would be a compromise I’d be happy with…

    #215160
    Profile photo of Ryan Williams
    Ryan Williams
    Participant

    HRT could potentially be bought out by a group of investors, and renamed to Scorpion Racing. Up to the FIA if they are allowed on the 2013 grid http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/105319

    #215161
    Profile photo of the_sigman
    the_sigman
    Participant

    I absolutely hate the direction of F1. We are 45 days until the first race and a week before testing and we don’t know the drivers, the teams, the calendar. Plus the pay drivers, the tight limits on the car, where when a new device is used by the next season is banned and the list goes on…

    #215162
    Profile photo of Ryan Williams
    Ryan Williams
    Participant

    @sigman1998 Compared to other series, F1 is actually doing quite well, despite all the issues (Increased entry fees, cancelled races etc…)

    We’ve already seen several championships cancel their seasons completely (Forrmula 2 for example) & others significantly reduce their schedule (British F3). Other forms of motorsport, such as the WRC, are in serious trouble with little-to-no TV coverage and with dwindling entry lists too.

    #215163
    Profile photo of the_sigman
    the_sigman
    Participant

    @ryanwilliams You are right in the things you say, but I am not comparing F1 to other lower categories, because F1 must be the best open-wheel racing championship. You are absolutely correct about WRC. It is in crisis in many aspects, but the TV issue is more difficult, because FOM has to put cameras around a 6 km circuit, while WRC is more difficult. I will compare F1 to MotoGP, another top level championship. They have increased the bike engine power, they have let the teams to enter 1, 2 or even 3 bikes and the support from team to team. The coverage is very good and the championship is televised throughout the world. And they have Valentino Rossi :)

    PS: No offence there, everyone’s opinion might be right.

    #215164
    Profile photo of the_sigman
    the_sigman
    Participant

    I will make a more appropriate topic to discuss.

    #215165
    Profile photo of Keith Collantine
    Keith Collantine
    Keymaster

    It’s Phoenix/Stefan GP part three…

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