The mood is sombre this weekend at HRT as the dying Spanish Team’s employees announced “We are unemployed and available”.
At the beginning of the week, owner Thesan Capital announced to the world that the backmarker team was to be put up for sale. And the Spanish media is now reporting that if there is no buyer found by the day after the curtain closer in Brazil, all staff will be fired. 32 members of staff have already lost their jobs.
An anonymous engineer said, “Curiously, two of them, a simulation engineer from McLaren GT and one from Marussia, were only in the office five days. We were working on next year’s car, trying to improve. It has caught us all by surprise.”
Another Mechanic reported that the offices at HRT were now “empty”, “We have been told that our last day could be November 26. If we are here [in Austin], it is because they [Thesan] have contracts with the FIA and FOM, forcing them to compete.”
A third team member said that the team was on the verge of a deal with a Qatari group but the deal broke down just before a deal was set to be announced.This is the cause of the current situation.
“I think the grid next year will have only 22 cars,” Reports a team member in the Spanish newspaper ‘Marca’. He added, “It is true that someone could come and take the team for a reduced price, but time is the factor. The 2013 car design has been stopped and that’s the most important thing, putting two cars on the grid. The license is what counts, but first you need a car.”
Both HRT’s had dismal days yesterday, racking up just 10 laps and being slapped with a €2,000 fine for speeding in the pit lane to add to their troubles.