F1

HRT owner Carabante insists team not for sale

HRT team owner Jose Ramon Carabante has denied reports the Spanish team is for sale or close to collapse. "We will be in Bahrain and also the February test in Valencia," he said in an interview with the print edition of Spanish newspaper El ...

HRT team owner Jose Ramon Carabante has denied reports the Spanish team is for sale or close to collapse.

"We will be in Bahrain and also the February test in Valencia," he said in an interview with the print edition of Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

A team spokeswoman had already denied the Spanish reports about Hispania Racing being in dire trouble due to not having a car following the termination of a deal with Toyota Motorsport GmbH.

"Just like the other teams, our car is moving forward and we are negotiating with drivers," added Carabante.

He admitted F1 is currently "complicated" with regards to external sponsorships.

But Carabante said the sport is still a valuable business to be in.

"F1 opens doors and creates international contacts. It helps your business so I guarantee I will not give it up easily because there are only 12. It's a global franchise."

He insists he does not regret his F1 foray, despite being the least competitive team in 2010 and beating only Virgin in the constructors' championship.

"It's difficult right now but better times will come," said the Spaniard. "We are negotiating with parters either as investors or sponsors. But I have never thought about selling. I will always keep 51 per cent."

It is rumoured that HRT might soon announce a sponsorship with a powerful Spanish multinational -- perhaps Telefonica.

"As I say to all major companies, being with us is a great way to support a national project. What better way to carry the name of Spain throughout the world."

In a separate interview with sports newspaper AS, Carabante continued: "The team is not for sale and never has been.

"I won't deny that if someone wants to buy 10, 15 or 25 per cent then we would be happy to be with them, of course.

"We are negotiating with large Spanish companies, but negotiations are slow and F1 is very fast.

"I cannot say who (the potential investors are) but we all know what are the big Spanish companies."

Carabante insisted there is no shame in being multiple seconds off the pace of the leading teams.

"In Alonso's first year he was far away from the top but now he is the best driver of all. We are in our first year and what we have done is miraculous.

"We are building our (2011) car in England and in Germany," he revealed.

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