HRT Owner Denies Team Selling Reports

Following several rumors that appeared in the Spanish media throughout the duration of last week, linking the Hispania Racing F1 Team to a potential sellout before the start of the 2011 Formula One season, the owner of the squad, businessman Jose Ramon Carabante, decided to bring some light into the matter.

Needless to say, the Grupo Hispania owner fended off those rumors, insisting that his F1 team is certainly not for sale. At the same time however, the Spaniard admitted that his squad's financial situation is delicate and that he's currently seeking sponsors to team up with for the upcoming F1 campaign.

It's difficult right now but better times will come,” Carabante was quoted as saying to Spanish newspaper El Mundo. “We are negotiating with partners either as investors or sponsors. But I have never thought about selling. I will always keep 51 per cent.”

I won't deny that if someone wants to buy 10, 15 or 25 per cent then we would be happy to be with them, of course. We are negotiating with large Spanish companies, but negotiations are slow and F1 is very fast. I cannot say who (the potential investors are) but we all know what are the big Spanish companies,” further revealed Carabante.

Reports suggest that one of those companies might be Telefonica, whose former CEO Juan Villalonga partnered with Carabante in early November to “generate innovative activities in marketing and sponsorship.”

Despite a struggling first season in F1, Carabante insisted he will continue to pay quite a deal of attention to his operation in the Great Circus, as “F1 opens doors and creates international contacts. It helps your business so I guarantee I will not give it up easily because there are only 12. It's a global franchise.

His team's efforts to boost its 2011 campaign have been dealt the wrong cards a few weeks back, when Toyota Motorsport GmbH announced they will not sign a technological deal with HRT F1 for 2011.

The two companies had discussed a potential deal for next season, which would have given HRT the opportunity to use the unraced TF110 challenger built by Toyota for the 2010 campaign, together with access to Toyota technology and part of its Cologne headquarters. This prospect failed due to delay in payments from HRT in recent months.
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