Spanish sources are reporting that the financially-troubled Hispania Racing (HRT) outfit has been sold.
According to AS.com
, HRT owner José Ramón Carabante has sold the struggling Spanish operation – currently duelling it out with fellow F1 2010 newcomer Virgin Racing to avoid the dishonour of the dreaded wooden spoon in the constructors' standings – to Japanese investment bank Nomura for a reputed price of $32 million. Official confirmation from the team has yet to be released.
The news comes as Scuderia Toro Rosso
reserve driver and highly-rated Red Bull protégé
Daniel Ricciardo prepares to join HRT to make his competitive F1 debut in this weekend's British Grand Prix
at Silverstone in-place of Narain Karthikeyan, who is expected to return to compete in front of his home fans in the inaugural Indian Grand Prix
at the end of October.
Hispania presently sits just ahead of Virgin in eleventh spot in the F1 2011 table, with a best finish to-date of 13th place courtesy of Vitantonio Liuzzi
in last month's Canadian Grand Prix
in Montreal. The team has improved considerably since failing to qualify for the curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix
in Melbourne back in March – the legacy, for the second year in swift succession, of a complete lack of pre-season testing.
Carabante himself purchased Hispania from former grand prix ace Adrián Campos on the eve of the 2010 campaign, renaming it from its original Campos Meta 1 appellation.