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Kolles insists 'no cause for concern' at HRT as Toyota rumours grow

Myriad rumours are currently swirling around the paddock regarding the future of embattled F1 2010 newcomer Hispania Racing (HRT) - but team principal Colin Kolles is adamant there is 'no cause for concern'
Dr. Colin Kolles has rubbished speculation that F1 2010 newcomer Hispania Racing is in such dire financial straits that it will not even be able to see out its maiden campaign of top flight competition, let alone embark upon another one in 2011 – as rumours linking Toyota to either HRT or Lotus continue to gather pace.

HRT's struggles this season have been well-documented, with its Dallara-designed chassis proving to be invariably the slowest car in the field, financial difficulties having forced the team to drop the promising Karun Chandhok for habitual tail-ender Sakon Yamamoto and even whispers of unpaid bills to Cosworth, endangering its engine supply.

All-in-all, the naysayers claim, the José Ramón Carabante-owned outfit is in a sorry state and on the brink of collapse – but team principal Kolles is adamant that nothing could be further from the truth, contending that the Murcia-based squad's budget was recently discussed and approved over the weekend of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

“We still need to complete certain objectives, but there is no cause for concern,” the German told Motorsport-Total.com. “The bill for the engines has been paid up to the end of the season. I think we are in better shape than some others.

“We will see who finishes the season and who does not, and we'll see who is on the grid next season. I am used to these rumours. When I arrived at Midland, everyone thought we would not survive, and it was the same with Spyker and Force India – but the team is still there.”

Meanwhile, Italian website 422race.com claims Chandhok's sponsorship was in fact coming out of the personal purse of none other than hugely influential F1 commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone, and when the Indian was dropped from the race line-up prior to the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim in July, it was an indication that the Formula One Management (FOM) chief executive's frustration with HRT was growing and his patience running out.

A mooted merger between Hispania and rejected F1 2011 hopeful Epsilon Euskadi has since been exposed as little more than wild, unfounded speculation, with 422race.com describing the Basque project as 'never more than smoke in the eyes' with no 'decent budget', accusing Joan Villadelprat of launching the entry bid merely to gain some publicity for his organisation and asserting that the design 'was made by a contest amongst Spanish engineering students and the wind tunnel model was a slight modification of an old World Series by Renault car'.

It seems there is more substance, however, behind the talk of a technical collaboration with Toyota, who withdrew from the top flight in an official capacity at the close of 2009 but have recently made a return of sorts by providing Pirelli with a TF109 model for tyre-testing. There are further suggestions that Kolles has agreed to sell HRT to a consortium of Czech and Serbian entrepreneurs come season's end – amongst them indefatigable Stefan GP figurehead Zoran Stefanovic, who has refused to either corroborate or deny the stories.

“It's a delicate question to answer,” Hispania technical co-ordinator Jacky Eeckelaert told toilef1.com. “It is true there were contacts with Toyota, but I don't think it's going to happen for 2011. As for a merger with Epsilon Euskadi, I'm not aware of that.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Timo Glock (GER) Toyota TF109, Turkish F1, Istanbul Park, 5th-7th June, 2009
Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota TF109, Turkish F1, Istanbul Park, 5th-7th June, 2009
Karun Chandhok (IND), Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT), F110
Friday Practice1, Karun Chandhok (IND), Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT), F110
Sakon Yamamoto (JPN), Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT), F110
Friday, Sakon Yamamoto (JPN), Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT), F110
Friday Practice 2, Sakon Yamamoto (JPN), Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT), F110
Colin Kolles, Team Principal, Hispania Racing F1 Team
Colin Kolles, Team Principal, Hispania Racing F1 Team
Colin Kolles, Team Principal, Hispania Racing F1 Team
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ferret - Unregistered

September 22, 2010 12:14 PM

Ther is this guy I know who has links to the media has told me that he know someone who used to work with an organisation that is close to Crash.net. He told me that there is this guy who allegedly works for Crash.Net and possibly has the job title of Chief Rumours Editor. Apparently, according to sources, this guy drops into the office now and then and gets a bunch of unrelated little bits and quotes and allegedly ties them together with a bit of speculation and a whole lot of creativity to make a story that he hopes will attract web hits that are good for using to suck money out of advertisers. So, according to sources linked to someone who has heard of someone who worked for a company that supplied parts to an organisation that is close to F1, these stories get printed that have just about as much credibility as this comment!!!!!!

JJJ - Unregistered

September 22, 2010 1:37 PM

Though speculative I often find these stories entertaining unless they are completely devoid of common sense. This kind of stuff in the article though is what you more or less expect from the colorful teams usually residing at the back of the grid. Except the quote 'Toyota and Lotus not in a million years' is a bit odd to me cause whose engines are powering Elises and Evoras these days? I know the road car company has little or nothing to do with Lotus F1 but still...

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