- Brazilian Grand Prix
A quiet farewell for HRTMartin Williamson November 25, 2012 « Fifth still a 'super result' for Hulkenberg | Ferrari 'fought all the way to the bitter end' »
While the media clustered around Sebastian Vettel in the aftermath of the Brazilian Grand Prix, the HRT team quietly started to pack up for what most believe will be the last time.
Since HRT's Spanish owners announced it was up for sale a fortnight ago there has been no indication of any potential buyers sniffing round. Although the licence to compete in 2013 has been bought, other assets are thin on the ground. Development on the 2013 HRT has been stopped and without a car to put on the grid and the need to take on a base in Spain, the appeal to would-be owners is almost non existent
The bankers who bought the team in July 2011, seemingly under the impression they could turn it into a profit-making enterprise, gave HRT little time to turn things round especially considering it was already a shoestring operation at the time of the acquisition. It was probably foolish in the current climate to expect bankers to be the saviours of anything. Now they have called time and without the possibility of a new owner HRT will have slipped quietly into F1 history by the time the teams reassemble in Australia in March.
To their credit the team kept going to the end even though more than 30 of them were let go at the same time the for sale signs were put up. Earlier in the week one of those remaining told Spanish daily Marca: "We are unemployed and available".
If it is the end then at least HRT had the satisfaction of seeing both cars finish at Interlagos, albeit more than a lap behind the nearest car.
Martin Williamson is managing editor of digital media ESPN EMEA