“HRT have got problems” – Ecclestone

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Bernie Ecclestone says he hopes all 12 F1 teams will make it to the end of the season, but admits HRT are facing financial trouble.

He told the Daily Telegraph:

HRT have got problems. I will sort it out. I’d like to see 12 teams finish the season because they have made the commitment to come in. We might lose one of them. But I’m doing my bit to make sure it doesn’t happen.
Bernie Ecclestone

HRT missed all the pre-season testing and only made it to the first race of 2010 thanks to an 11th-hour rescue deal.

In practice at Monaco yesterday Bruno Senna‘s progress was held back due to a shortage of spare parts from chassis constructor Dallara. Both HRTs were damaged in crashes during the Spanish Grand Prix last week.

The last team to withdraw part-way through a Grand Prix season was Super Aguri, who folded four races into 2008.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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44 comments on ““HRT have got problems” – Ecclestone”

  1. So will we see a Brabham-HRT in a couple of races to come? Or will they get in touch with one of the teams getting a go at 2011?

    I know, we had this before. A shame Epsilon Euskadi is not a good prospect for them, Cypher is from the USA, not sure weather ART would be interested.
    Durango might have a try if it really has any backers wanting to have a shot at F1, Stefan GP probably is not real and i am not sure about their money.

    Still it should be an option for them and for the FIA it would be good to support such a move for a team they would see fit to join F1.

    1. Why a Brabham-HRT? Because of Bernie’s involvement? Probably not – Bernie has propped up a fair few F1 teams in the past but he doesn’t usually shout about it much, let alone insisting they badge themselves as Brabham. He doesn’t even own the name anymore.

      1. He doesn’t? who to and when did he sell it??

        1. Alfa Romeo in 1987, who sold it onto Joachim Luhti before it passed to Middlebridge when Luhti was arrested for fraud.

          1. Ohhh Thanks for that.

  2. i think Chandhok might have shown enough to pick up a test drive with Force india though.

    1. That wouldn’t surprise me. Especially if Di Resta nicks Liuzzi’s seat.

    2. Agree about Chandhok. Seems like a nice guy and he’s at least as good as bruno senna.

      1. Praveen Titus
        14th May 2010, 20:34

        Where would Senna go to? Is the rekindling of the Senna dream over no sooner than it has started?

      2. I’d still say it’s impossible to draw conclusions on the performance of either driver, other than that they’ve done well considering the circumstances. I feel like with such a poor car it could be easy to have slight differences in the chassis effecting performance, or just that the problems are so great it would be unfair to accuse one driver of not coping quite as well. Maybe if the team finds some stability then the drivers can be rated better. However, I do know that I’d like both drivers to stay in from what I’ve seen so far.

  3. It would be such a shame if HRT folded.

    Not only would it be another hammer blow to Bruno Senna’s F1 aspriations, but it would be a great shame for Karun Chandhok who has shown real character in theface of great adversity in his short F1 career, and he has proved to be a welcome addition to the F1 circus.

  4. Robert McKay
    14th May 2010, 10:15

    Not surprising, is this…?

  5. I dont think that Bernie will want to lose Chandok from the sport and I dont think he’ll want to lose the Senna name either…

    1. Jarred Walmsley
      14th May 2010, 10:42

      Even if HRT collapses then I think both drivers will be picked up by other teams even if just as test drivers, due to the pace Chandok has shown even in such a bad car that I think he could get a Force India test seat and Bruno will probably be picked up by another team as a test driver but it will be bad as i’m not sure how long it will be before Bruno gets another race seat if HRT does collapse

    2. My two favourite drivers on the grid this year! Save them Bernie! Save them!

      1. If Liuzzi keeps underperforming, I can see him getting the boot and replaced by Di Resta, and if by then HRT has already folded, they’d take Chandhok as a test driver perhaps?

        Just a random thought. Heh.

        I don’t care too much about Bruno Senna and he seems to me a tad overrated, but Chandhok definitely is a cool guy and has some talent. I’d be sad to see him go.

  6. The Genuine Jim
    14th May 2010, 10:31

    Dallara seem to be behaving very unprofessionally with this HRT saga.
    It’s easy to say, but I have never thought that HRT would make it to the end of the season. There is no foundation to build a team on, and no money. Which is a shame, as I have developed a soft spot for these dreary-coloured, slow cars.

    1. Robert McKay
      14th May 2010, 10:42

      Is it Dallara’s fault? They just build the chassis and parts. They’re not actually the Hispania team.

      Presumably, they’d like some sort of renumeration from the actual HRT structure, in return for this service.

      But this money may not be in the coffers.

      1. HounslowBusGarage
        14th May 2010, 10:52

        Well HRT don’t seem to have much in the way of sponsors, do they?
        Both cars have the driver’s name splashed large upon the sides where a massive corporate sponsor should be.
        I remember reading somewhere that Barclays were looking to sponsor a team and I wonder if Bernie is going to try and swing it in the direction of HRT.

      2. I would say that Dallara were in part to blame. They have some how made an F1 car which is as fast as or even slower than a GP2 car, despite apparantly following F1 specifications…

        1. The Genuine Jim
          14th May 2010, 11:16

          Reply to Robert:

          I know HRT do not run the team itself, but there are things that Dallara have done that have disappointed me.
          Firstly, they have designed a hopelessly slow car; Geoff Willis has said the design is very amateurish and is missing plenty of ‘standard’ developments, and Christian Klien said that basically the car is hopeless and not up to F1 standard. This is not work I would expect to come from a company of Dallara’s standing.
          Secondly, I have read that Dallara have been rather unprofessional and awkward regarding HRT’s requests for data, templates and other things to do with running and developing an F1 car (can’t quite remember exact details unfortunately).
          Thirdly, Keith’s latest report of Dallara not having enough parts for the team just backs up my belief that Dallara are a sub-par, unprofessional constructor.
          Nothing to do with HRT; I’m sure they’re doing the best they can with the limited resourses they have available. Dallara certainly isn’t making it any easier for them.

          1. Robert McKay
            14th May 2010, 11:19

            Fair points all, but like I say – if HRT haven’t and aren’t giving Dallara the money then Dallara can’t do the job for them.

        2. Robert McKay
          14th May 2010, 11:17

          But it depends how much money Campos gave them to actually do it. Building F1 machinery is not their core business.

          So if Campos said “build us a machine and we’ll give you the money”, and then struggled to actually give them the money, presumably Dallara were not overly inclined to spend their own money and effort on the project.

          I’m not sure Dallara deserve any blame in this. If it was shown they got sizeable chunks of money regularly throughout the design process with no payment problems, then yes, perhaps you can say they’ve built a dog of a car. But I bet the money they recieved for it was not much, and did not get paid into their account regularly (given the disarray the Campos situation was in when Kolles took over). Under those circumstances Dallara probably did as well as they could be expected.

          But essentially the HRT project is looking increasingly like the USF1 project, with the only distinction being that Campos delegated the building of the chassis to someone else from day 1 and leave that problem with someone else. And that is why it was rescuable to any extent at all.

  7. Rich people buying teams and then not putting any money in…..

  8. it’s a joke they were allowed into to f1 in the first place. why let a team race who haven’t tested?!

  9. Prisoner Monkeys
    14th May 2010, 12:03

    Hispania were always going to be in trouble. I just didn’t think it would manifest this fast. An ideal solution would be to have Epsilon Euskadi – another Spanish team – get involved. That way, the thirteenth grid position could be freed up for someone else (like, say ART Grand Prix), so we’d have more legitimate racing teams on the grid.

    1. I thought exactly the same about those two getting together.

      Last week i discussed this, but learnt from a spanish poster, that Epsilon Euskadi is a very much proud Baskian team, so this would be a major problem in getting the two involved.

      Why not an ART takover of the HRT team? Or Durango getting in, if they really have any serious backers to get into F1. It would do their credibility a lot of good after last year if they could.

    2. Have to say, it could be the perfect solution at the moment, if HRT can’t get through the lows and if this solution is workable. It’d be terrible if HRT just vanished into thin air leaving Senna & Karun jobless. I like both of them and especially Karun as he’s a very likeable character and has shown great composure in the tough situation he’s in. Plus, I’m Indian by birth.. ;)
      Btw, ART GP, imo, are looking like the most legitimate ones to take No.13 for next year.

  10. Bernie: ‘HRT have got problems. I will sort it out.’
    Yeah, right. Like you helped SuperAguri when they had problems……..

    1. To be fair, any attempt to save Super Aguri was blocked by Honda, who had seen that team serve its purpose and were happy to let it die.

      1. Rather a pity imo

        1. Magnificent Geoffrey
          15th May 2010, 9:20

          Agreed. Super Aguri had character and endeared themselves to me after a while.

  11. if it were me, i would have gone with lola.

    1. With Mastercard sponsorship…. ;-)

  12. Well, the obvious solution would be to move over for Epsilon Euskadi. Kolles didn’t exactly seem like the most willing buyer when he took over from Campos, more like he was just trying to protect his initial investment. However, I’m not sure I see it happening, otherwise noises would have been made already. I can potentially see another Midland/Spyker situation, where someone buys the team but doesn’t re-brand the car (they’re not allowed to, I don’t think) until next year.

    HRT’s pace has been Dallara’s fault, even if only in part. Sure, when the money started drying up Dallara would have been right to slow or stop construction on the car. But according to HRT Dallara left off some fairly ubiquitous parts. And maybe it’s reading too much into things, but after HRT slagged them off in the media, Dallara suddenly seem a lot more obstructionist. Too right, maybe, but downright unprofessional if true.

    1. I’m amazed that there haven’t been sufficient spare parts sent out to Monaco with HRT. It’s not as if Dallara would have had to pay for it – freight up to a certain quantity is handled by DHL on behalf of FOM. It does seem that Dallara are being unnecessarily obstructive towards the team.

      1. But wouldn’t Dallara have to built the parts in the first place?

        As far as i understand, Dallara did continue development of the car in 2009 even though then Campos were not paying at all.
        I suppose the lack of parts is more due to the financial situation Bernie refers to not allowing him to buy the parts they need to replace parts damaged in numerous crashes.
        They must have planned a certain amount of parts would be sufficient for the first 4-6 races and now they suddenly have to buy more.

        Sure Dallara must rue getting involved and might have to get involved to save their reputation from getting damaged, but to lay blame with them seems far fetched.

  13. For all the bones I’ve had to pick with him over the years, I’ll give credit where it’s due. Bernie has done some rescuing in the past, and for far less profitable reasons than having an Indian driver in the debut of the Indian Grand Prix.

    When Bernie sets his mind to something, he can fair work magic. The Indian Grand Prix joins the schedule next year. I doubt Bernie will allow HRT to go quietly into the dark.

    I’m not going to count out HRT quite yet.

  14. HRT’s got problems,
    they got a little cho cho,
    cho cho san was her name….

    … I’m sorry, it’s Friday and I’m delirious!

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      14th May 2010, 21:35

      Cacarella, is that a reference to Malcolm MacLaren?

      1. Yes it was – sorry.

  15. Like me many people did expect that to happen.

  16. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59cG9R3tyZA

    An example fron this year.

    Also a tad funny.

  17. Here is what Hispanias Kollin Coles has to say about there problems:

    According to him the problem is not as much financial, more on the technical aspects

    “Obviously we are not competitive enough, even as we expected as a new team, and we have to find solutions for the future,” Kolles told AUTOSPORT. “But we are positive and Bernie is helping us secure a better future.

    “This team will finish the season, and we are already looking at 2011. We hope to make an announcement next month, perhaps before the Canadian Grand Prix, about our plans going forward for building our own chassis.”

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