Hispania in the lurch as Toyota cancels 2011 deal

Toyota Motorsport put out a statement earlier today saying that the company had ended its co-operation with Hispania, adding that it “will not resume.”

The team was intending to use a version of the stillborn 201o chassis with a Cosworth engine and Williams gearbox as a shortcut to a respectable package for next season. However, it could only be a temporary solution while Colin Kolles sorted out an alternative chassis for the longer term.

Kolles was bullish about prospects for next year when this blog spoke to him in Abu Dhabi. This morning he was spotted in deep conversation with the Carabante family, the main shareholders in the team.

If the Toyota deal really is dead then the only realistic option the team will have is to use this year’s Dallara-built cars once again.

The Toyota statement said: “Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) confirms that all cooperation with Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT) has been terminated and will not resume.

“TMG retains all intellectual property rights to its current F1 car and is completely free to pursue other projects and support new customers for its high-performance engineering services.

“TMG regrets that HRT has not met its contractual payment obligations and will pursue all available options to reach a satisfactory conclusion to this matter.”

HRT responded quickly with its own statement, saying that it was surprised by the Toyota news, and was seeking further clarification.

12 Comments

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12 responses to “Hispania in the lurch as Toyota cancels 2011 deal

  1. I do not get the whole, ‘further clarification’, bit in this news.
    If HRT has not paid for any of their contractual obligations, (as we are led to believe), where is the problem.
    Credit only goes so far, after that, you get cut off.
    If you want to play with the big boys, you have to pay your bills on time.

  2. jim

    You think they can use this years Dallara, when next year, the DD diffuser is banned?
    How’s the Williams tranny gonna work there?
    Is Williams being paid???
    How’s the Dog gonna work with the new Pirellis?
    Even if they can get the Dallara to work, will HRT be able to race with the 107% rule in effect next year???

    Sayonara HRT, Bruno and the lame blue hat…

  3. More bad news! ART’s potential bid for the 13th grid spot was also cancelled after Hispania beat them to the Toyota deal. Now it seems we will have neither team next season. Unless Hispania can win Toyota back or Bernie interfears I fear the cancellation of this deal could be the end for the Hispania Racing F1 team. Is this possible Adam?

  4. melonfarmer

    The way I read it when the Toyota deal was rumoured in July was that Carabante would bail out before the ink dried on the contract. The team has been in limbo all season.

    Interesting that Daniel Ricciardo was slightly slower than Vettel’s pole time today (in the RB), yet Maldonaldo (in the HRT) was 1.5s quicker than Senna’s time. Bruno Senna will not be any loss.

  5. 4u1e

    What’s the betting we’re back down to 10 teams by next year? HRT look very unlikely to make it, and the whole Marussia thing looks iffy to me.

    No-one says it should be easy, but there’s just no route for any existing race team to graduate to F1 these days without bankrupting themselves.

    Stewart was the last team to move up to F1 without going bust almost immediately and that was in 1997…

  6. Ash

    I guess if they get an injection of cash in the next two weeks they can go back to Dallara on bended knee (and open chequebook) and beg them to develop the car. Presumably with a good three-month window (and enough dosh) they would be able to integrate a regulation diffuser, an adjustable rear wing, the Williams back end, and prep a low-downforce wing so they don’t look completely ridiculous at Monza.

    If not though, I think we’ve seen the last of them…

    • 4u1e

      You could build a car that worked in that window, but could you build one that can get within 107% of a Red Bull or a Ferrari?

      Super Aguri did something similar in 2006, but would have failed to qualify their second car in quite a few races if the 107% rule had been in place. They were using an older (i.e. less similar) baseline, but had a few more months to do it in, which is significant.

      That’s assuming this really does come as a surprise to HRT of course. If they’ve been planning for this, then it’s much easier to believe they can update their car in time.

      • Ash

        I think you probably could. HRT were within 107% on most occasions this year with a car that had not been developed at all since the first race, and with drivers who were not, shall we say, world champion calibre. The top teams are not going to suddenly find a second and a half next year, especially with the reduction in downforce from the single diffusers.

        But it seems reasonable to suppose that it would be possible to put a second onto the Dallara with a condensed program between now and February — Lotus and Virgin managed it during the season itself, when they were racing every fortnight. And with Klien and, I don’t know, Ant Davidson or somebody, they would stand a reasonable chance next year.

        They would be last, but it would be a respectable last.

  7. tom baker

    Farewell and adieu, all you dear Spanish racers

    Farewell and adieu, all you racers of Spain

    …..

  8. Stone the crows

    At this point I’m not sure what HRT can do, ‘further clarification’ I think means crawl on their hands and knees and beg TMG for another chance (with check in hand). No doubt TMG saw their relationsihp with HRT going in the same direction as it went with Dallara and cut them off. Could be also they have another and more tangible offer for the TF110’s technology. What can HRT do? They could try to adapt the F110, but if they even had the means for that they would have the means to build an entirely new chassis. The only hope for them now is to contract with another provider, such as Lola Group, or Elan Motorsports.

    • Ash

      Or Williams, of course.

      Williams presumably has the capacity to work on the Dallara F110 (spare wind tunnel, the F2 design group which is presumably under-utilised), and they clearly have enough pull to direct that Pastor Maldonado gets both HRT Pirelli days.

      The actual costs to Williams of engineering the F110B would presumably be quite small — which would let them take equity in the team in return, instead of actual cash.

      The sport seems to be moving towards these B team relationships within the top formula itself (Red Bull & Toro Rosso, Mercedes & Force India). For Williams to obtain a captive backmarker without any great outlay of cash could be very useful — test-bed for the flywheel, place to put Hulkenberg if he ends up without a drive, additional customer for Porsche if it comes in as an engine supplier in 2013, etc etc.

  9. Stone the crows

    Hadn’t thought of that, Williams does build chassis for feeder series, so they would have more capacity to pick up a project like the F110 than others. I recall what Geoff Willis said of the Dallara ” I don’t think it reflects current F1 practise by quite some margin.” Which would indicate there is a lot of work to do, adapting it to the 2011 regulations, making it quick enough to beat the 107% rule and apparently to bring it up to current F-1 standards. (This also assumes that Dallara has no say in the intellectual property of the design and construction of the F110.) If the tub design is basically sound then I suppose everything around it could be re-engineered. But it may involve more money and effort to improve a poor design than to just scrap it and move on.
    But speaking of Williams, under the current Concordat, could they supply an FW 32 to HRT or some other team as did Honda with Super Aguri?

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