Sport : F1

HRT

27th February 2014, 08:36am

HRT had staggered from hand to mouth from the moment they entered F1 and time, and money, finally ran out for the small Spanish team at the end of 2012.

The Madrid-based outfit's failure to appear on the official 2013 FIA entry list confirmed their turbulent three-year F1 stay was over, with owners Thesan Capital unable to find a buyer to take the team on.

In truth, it was something of an achievement that HRT even lasted that long at motorsport's top table given the near permanent state of turmoil, and transition, they found themselves in right from the moment Adrian Campos was forced to sell the team he founded even before they had made their race debut in 2010.

Even a second takeover by private equity firm Thesan Capital mid-way through 2011 - and the accompanying Spanish makeover which saw former Minardi driver Luis Perez-Sala take over from Colin Kolles as Team Principal, veteran driver Pedro de la Rosa arrive for 2012 and the team move from Germany to the heart of Madrid - failed to ignite much impetus on the track. Or, it seems, any wider commercial interest.

For all of that, the team did develop into a respectable F1 operation over their three seasons, steadily cutting their overall lap-time deficit to the front. Higher classified finishes even allowed them to finish above higher-profile rivals Virgin in the Constructors' Championship in both 2010 and 2011.

Having missed out on pre-season testing with their new car for the third straight year in 2012, HRT initially gave the now Marussia team a run for their money in the early rounds but ultimately finished the year adrift at the bottom of the field and last in the Constructors' Championship.

Thesan Capital put the team up for sale in the closing weeks of the season, and while they offered words of encouragement that a buyer would be found, no further good news materialised and the F1 grid for 2013 has been cut to 11 teams.

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