HRT ‘in liquidation’, supplier claims

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: A supplier to HRT claims the team has gone into liquidation.

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Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

A supplier to HRT has accused them of presenting “misleading information” (Sky)

“A supplier owed money by HRT has accused them of giving ‘misleading information’ and also confirmed that the Spanish team went into liquidation last month.”

Nico Hulkenberg interview (F1)

“When the rain started – and we all somehow knew and expected that there would be rain and that the temperature would drop – keeping the temperature in the tyres was the most important and difficult thing. That we had lost the podium only crossed my mind during the last couple of laps after my drive-through penalty. Obviously I was disappointed, but on the other hand I was proud of the race as a whole and of course also of my team – they did a fantastic job.”

Overtaking jibes never got to Vettel (ESPN)

“Last year obviously we always started the race from a great position and didn’t have to overtake so many people. Then you obviously get criticised for not overtaking people but if there’s no one to overtake…”

Newey: Harder to find gains for 2013 (Autosport)

“It is increasingly difficult because there are no real regulations changes compared to this year and it will be the fifth season since the 2009 rule changes. The field is converging and you can see how competitive it is in the fact that we had eight different winners this year.”

‘There’s no chance of me coming back to Formula One soon,’ Robert Kubica talks racing in interview (AutoWeek)

“I was hoping that I’d be back behind the wheel of a Formula One car soon, but it didn’t work out. To return at the highest level you need to constantly train, you need a lot of time behind the wheel. Now I’m doing this and in the last three months my performances have improved a lot; I hope this continues.”

India not on F1 radar yet for testing venue for Formula One teams (The Economic Times)

“Costs and logistical constraints may come in the way of India’s Buddh International Circuit (BIC) becoming a testing venue for the Formula One teams ahead of the new season in March.”

Sam Michael on Hamilton’s departure and why McLaren won’t dwell on it (James Allen)

“Of course it’s a loss to McLaren but just like if anybody leaves, whether it’s a driver – there have been some very big, famous names leave McLaren before in terms of drivers – and you don’t dwell on it. You move on quickly because Formula 1’s all about change management.”

Sky in search for F1 sponsor to replace Santander (MediaWeek)

“Santander has confirmed it has ended discussions about extending its one-year sponsorship deal.”

Ricciardo’s end of season report (Toro Rosso)

Bernie Ecclestone eyes vodka sponsorship deal (The Telegraph)

“We are chasing one or two people that want to be involved. We are looking at phones and drinks. People like Vodka and things like that, they are out there.”

McLaren’s history with the Stars and Stripes (McLaren)

“I must recall interviewing young American driver Scott Speed and recounting to him how the great Jimmy Clark missed the 1965 Monaco Grand Prix in order to contest – and win – the Indy 500. Speed, who never actually lived up to his moniker, looked aghast. ‘Why would he do that? Pass up Monaco for the Indy 500?’ I suddenly felt swamped by his personality. I might have missed something here. But I can’t quite think what.”


Ferrari in Bologna

A few pictures of Giancarlo Fisichella in action in Bologna recently.

Comment of the day

@Tango had a chance encounter with one of the drivers who will be on the grid again in 2013:

I finally managed to drag some friends to go karting (and as luck would have it, it would rain and be freezing cold). I decided to bring them to a great facility I highly recommend to French or passing by readers: RKC in the outskirts of Paris (a great 1,000m circuit for beginners, another 1,200m one. Friendly and professional staff, reasonable-ish prices).

It seems according to their website Jean-Eric Vergne learned karting there so as luck would have it, he was there when we arrived at the till. I obviously was starstruck and asked the very nice lady at the till if indeed it was Vergne. I guess he overheard and came to come and say hello. It was 15 seconds but made my day.

Obviously, my friends were nonplussed and I had to say no, he wasn’t the one who nearly decapitated another bloke and no, they are both pretty able drivers (Grosjean has quite a lot of bad press here, especially with a “Muppet show” called Les Guignols started a gimmick about him crashing all the time).

From the forum

Some seat changes in the top junior series have been announced so check out the updated driver rosters here:

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Debaser91 and Ryan!

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

The FIA confirmed a new points system would be introduced for 2010, extending points down to tenth place for the first time.

However the exact distribution of the points was later changed:

Image © HRT F1 Team

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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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65 comments on “HRT ‘in liquidation’, supplier claims”

  1. The more I read about Kubica and a potential F1 comeback for him the less it seems likely. It’s good to see he’s at least trying to work his way back up to that level but sadly I don’t think that’s going to happen.

    1. Reports from Poland claim that Ford’s Malcolm Wilson and Citroen’s Yves Martin have both approached the FIA about making special models of the Fiesta and DS3 WRC cars that break the homologated model by moving the gear shift column from the right-hand side to the left. The Polish media is interpreting this as meaning that Ford and Citroen both intend to offer Kubica a contract to rally next year, pending the outcome of the FIA’s decision.

      1. interesting. I can well see why both of them would like to sign Robert on for a long term deal.

        1. @bascb – The same sources claim that the FIA will have handed down their answer to Malcolm and Matton on or by the 14th. Unfortauntely, the 14th is also the closing date for Monte Carlo entries. So unless Kubica wants to drive a car with the gear stick on the right hand side of the steering column, he may have to miss the event.

      2. I know it’s not a very important point, but keep in mind that M-Sport is no longer backed by Ford. So it wouldn’t be a case of Ford backing Kubica if M-Sport had been approached in that way.

        1. @mazdachris

          keep in mind that M-Sport is no longer backed by Ford

          Qatar M-Sport (as they are now known) will be eligible to score manufacturer points in 2013. Even though they are not receiving any funding from Ford, their status as a manufacturer team gives Ford some influence in their operations. Perhaps less than they previously had, but as the de facto works team, and as the outfit that prepares and operates every single Fiesta RS, M-Sport answer to Ford.

          1. @prisoner-monkeys

            It never ceases to amaze me how spectacularly short sighted the execs at car manufacturers can be, when it comes to pulling support for motorsport operations.

            The new WRC Fiesta looks like a genuine title contender, and with Sebastian Loeb effectively retiring at the end of this year (or at least not contesting enough rounds to be a viable contender) it’s the best chance Ford have had in about a decade to secure both titles. And yet this, of all times, is the moment they choose to pull out. If M-Sport go on to be champions in 2013 then Ford are going to end up looking just as silly as Honda did in 2009.

            Obviously it’s not quite the same situation as with Honda, since WRC is receiving less coverage than it has done at any point in the modern era, and the effectiveness of motorsport competition on boosting car sales and brand exposure is probably not what it once was, especially in these days where, in my opinion at least, interest in motorsport on the whole is in decline. Mostly thanks to us being in a period of global recession, coupled with environmental factors and the lurking threat of Peak Oil hanging over us like a sword of damocles. But still, it’s very possible that Ford may end 2013 feeling like their lottery numbers came up on the one week they didn’t bother buying a ticket.

          2. @mazdachris – The problem, in Ford’s case, is that Citroen were believed to be spending more on Loeb and Hirvonen alone than Ford were on their entire WRC programme. They just couldn’t compete unless they matched Citroen dollar for dollar, and even then, there was no guarantee that they could compete. Even iwth Loeb retiring, there are still no guarantees. So what they decided to do was scale back their operations, make the Fiesta RS available as a customer car, and wait to see what happens in the long term.

  2. why do ferrari use the 2009 F60 in manny of their recent demonstrations when they can use (legally) the 2010 F10? it’s faster with more downforce and it looks a lot better.

    1. +1, same goes for the F150th and in fact they now can use the F2012, I believe.

      1. @carlitox im afraid not. i believe you can’t use cars from the previous season. so the f12012 wont be used in any demo runs anytime soon.

        1. @sato113 I think Vettel is gonna run the RBR7 on ROC this weekend

          1. @celeste thats ok though. it’s not last season’s car technically. the RB8 is.

    2. Perhaps the newer chassis (with better racing histories than the F60) have already been spoken for by well-heeled F1 Clienti members.

    3. @sato113 @carlitox to my memory – the car needs to have been retired for at least 2 years. I think starting from 1st of January 2013, they are allowed to use the F10. Now this is the one they’re allowed to use.

      1. @raymondu999 hmm this seems to mess everything up! Button did his Budapest run in the 2011 car during the middle of the 2012 season…

        1. Does this rule apply to demo runs or just young driver tests? It’s not like they can get any meaningful data doing donuts for the crowd whereas at a test they could do some proper work.

          1. @coefficient demo runs. Ferrari were doing lots of “promotional video shoots” in 2010 – you know… with new parts and all, on the then-current F10.

            They were even testing the exhausts etc on the car, and adding aero rakes and probes all around it. It basically became a recorded testing day.

    4. It might be just the fact that Fisi raced the F60, so its a car he is somewhat familiar with. And off course the latest car is not allowed to be used for demo runs quite yet.

      1. If they wanted him to go quicker, all they would have to do is get a VJM02 and paint it red!

    5. @sato113 @raymondu999 Didn’t really know that, thanks for the info guys! :)

    6. @sato113 Maybe there is something of value to it? Looks are subjective and performance doesn’t matter with a demo run.

  3. Liquidation… that word is feared in the F1 world. I remember when Prost GP suffered the same fate, that was awful. I hope they find a serious buyer, but it seems hugely improbable. If Marussia finally starts taking things more seriously, we might be up for a nice grid next year.

    1. @carlitox As they haven’t got an entry for next year it doesn’t look promising. What a waste.

      1. The only feasible way forward would be to buy the F112 chassis and/or any development of the F113, and then apply to the FIA for a grid entry. However, any buyer would be hesitant to buy the chassis without a grid entry, but the FIA would be equally-hesitant to provide a grid entry to a team without a chassis.

  4. People like Vodka and things like that

    On this occasion, Bernie is indisputably correct.

    1. I’m not so sure they like it on Sundays, though.

    2. Haha, that tends to be the case. :D

    3. Are they changing the champagne for vodka? Kimi will be happy an motivated about it…

      1. If this happens, I’m betting my house Kimi wins the championship next year!

  5. Giancarlo fisichella, no?

    That’s nice about vergne, and hoping all the best for kubica even if it looks like he won’t ever make it back to f1. :(

  6. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    11th December 2012, 1:47

    F1 is not about who has the biggest amount of money, it’s who uses it more smartly. Remember Toyota? They had a budget bigger than Ferrari, and they never had the capacity to produce a good car, I remember Trulli got a podium or two, probably ralf got another one and that was all. Sauber has produced more with a lot less money than that. HRT should have hired a better assessor first, a person who have shown them how the plan was not profitable even in a 3 year stint. I still don’t understand how they were permitted to run in the top racing level f1 has

    1. I still don’t understand how they were permitted to run in the top racing level f1 has

      Same as Marussia and Caterham.

      Don’t forget this team has changed owners several times, it was Adrian Campos that was the originator. It’s very easy in hindsight to criticize them, but I think they made a valiant effort in trying, something that’s obviously missed on some.

      When you speak about money, remember that for HRT it was a struggle just to find the money to stay operational. They weren’t even looking at the kinds of funds Sauber has.

    2. I still don’t understand how they were permitted to run in the top racing level f1 has.

      Because they can qualify within 107% of the fastest time in Q1.

      However, I think there was an expectation that they, Marussia and Caterham would have been more competitive, and sooner. Mosley’s idea was to introduce a budget cap parallel to this, and that would have gone a long way towards helping the new teams find their feet.

    3. I think part of Toyota’s problem was management style, how the parent company wanted to have strong influence, and how innovation, risk-taking, and free thinking is relatively shunned in Japanese industrial management.

      From what I can tell, F1 is all about money, but also the intelligence to allow the expensive design and engineering talent to do execute with relative freedom.

  7. I’m going to miss HRT! Let the underdogs try will ya, sheesh!!!!!

  8. The last sentence from the Sky/Santander story had me in stitches.

    Sky has claimed its F1 coverage had a reach of more than nine million people in the UK last season.

    As far as I can get numbers, Sky has abot 11Million subscribers total.
    It claims 6M has Sky Sports subscriptions, but it seems a lot of mainly football fans, only take Sky Sports 1.
    It also Claims 3 million+ have the HD package, but how many of these also have a Sports package. Apparently there are 2 million Sky subcscribers that take everything, i.e. sports, film and HD.

    So even the claim that the F1 package can reach 9 million homes is a stretching the truth to breaking point.

    Unless of course they are adding in all the people who found streams on the internet.

    1. No idea why F1 don’t sell worldwide streamin/on-deman subscription for like $5 a month. Forget the TV licenses, they would be making killing compare to what they earn now.

      Makes no sense in this time. E-sport got better system and their market is non-existent compare to F1.

      1. davidnotcoulthard
        11th December 2012, 7:12

        Well, I know there are channels that broadcast F1 and also offer streams, in which case I believe things are legal, like Indonesian channel Kompas TV, though Kompas TV doesn’t broadcast the sessions the “1-litre fuel’ rule classify as the “practice” sessions.

    2. As you need only either the sports or the HD packages, its possible that indeed 9 million people have access to F1 footage on Sky.
      But its fully clear that with race viewerships around a million or so at best, the vast majority of these people will have never seen much of F1.

      1. I have a cousin who has everything with two boxes, he watches documentaries and sport, his wife watches films and soaps. I assume there has to lots of families with similar setups, maybe with split for kids and parents.

    3. @w-k It is one of the more pathetic pieces of PR spin I’ve read in a while.

      Earlier this year I was trying to get data for an article on television viewing figures in the UK. The figures for average audiences are easily obtained without Sky’s assistance, but when I asked them for their view on the figures they said they consider peak viewing figures to be more representative. That in itself is not unreasonable but would they share those figures? Of course not.

      And here they are trying to use this utterly fanciful figure for “reach”. There’s no credibility in that at all.

      1. I wonder what figure Sky uses for average household size to come to this figure…

      2. F1 Revs apparently has some figures (t)he(y) also has some issues with the sky sports spin, his figures show a fall of 16% from the 2011 totals.

    4. It’s not clear if the 9 million refers to people or to households. My husband is a subscriber but I watch the TV too!

      1. I am told by a person, who I must admit I don’t know all that well, who works for their competitors it is the number of installations that were paid for 3 months ago. But that the figures a subject to spin by the PR people if they had a sales push on for some reason, like their F1 coverage or the HD package. So the PR figures might be a sum of their optomistic total installations and the addition package(s) ordered, but not take into consideration those that then cancelled the package or the numbers who have cut their total deal due to the financial situation.

    5. @w-k

      Unless of course they are adding in all the people who found streams on the internet.

      At which point it becomes “reaching 9 million viewers worldwide.” Which is even less impressive.

  9. Poor Toto Wolf, first he missed Kimi to Lotus, now Honeywell….must be very frustrating.

  10. Toto Wolff is named after a couple of canines, that’s all.

  11. “People like Vodka and things like that, they are out there.”

    Bernie has such a high opinion of the average F1 fan…

  12. I like (and liked) the refreshed facebook page Keith!

  13. why dont ferrari by hrt and do what redbull have done with toro rosso and turn it into a junior development squad

    1. If they wanted to, don’t you think they would have by now?

      1. i know that but im saying i think they should would be good

      2. @prisonermonkeys well, no not really to be honest. Anybody as large and financially strident as Ferrari would want to undertake a due-diligence activity of HRT’s “books” and if we are to believe that they are in liquidation they might need the permission of the insolvency or administrator to do so. The season has only been ‘over’ for 3 weeks, so it’s highly unlikely that Ferrari could have submitted an approach and received and reviewed all the documentation they need to submit a bid. They may have already done this, and the bid is being reviewed by the administrators.

    2. If Ferrari wanted a junior squad there’s nothing stopping them from just creating one themselves. HRT don’t have a wealth of facilities or personnel to draw from, and frankly I think they’d be embarrassed to have anything as slow as the HRT driving around with their name on it.

      Frankly I’ve surprised that Mateschitz has persevered as long as he has with Torro Rosso, and feel that their days are numbered unless they can prove they can build a solid midfield car. If you want to showcase stars of the future, they need to be in a car capable of putting in a good showing, not just driving around at the back of the grid, trying not to get in anyone’s way.

    3. They have Sauber for that.

      1. @coefficient And that worked so well for them this year ;)

  14. What does “swamped by his personality” mean?

    1. I was wondering the same. I have absolutely no idea what he is trying to say with that paragraph.

    2. could mean a couple of things, that he was “overwhelmed” by his personality, or that he was “full” of his personality, meaning he got the full sense of the power of Jim Clark’s personality, or “swamped” in the way a small boat can be when a much larger boat goes by. I imagine it means that Jim Clark’s personality was much larger than his own and he felt small in comparison.

      1. For me (non-native speaker), it isn’t obvious whether he’s talking about Clark’s or Speed’s personality there. Not even sure about whether it’s meant as a compliment or some kind of criticism.

  15. Comment of the day ? Wow, I wouldn’t have thought! Well, that’s two great things that happened because we decided rain wasn’t going to stop us from go karting !

  16. Does anyone know how much money has Kobayashi raised?

    1. @sigman1998 Last I heard it was in excess of £1mil.

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