A Spanish website has admitted a news story about Santander buying into the Spanish team HRT was a hoax.

The website said the bank had bought 40 per cent of the struggling team and would announce the deal at the same time as confirming Pedro de la Rosa as the main driver for 2011.

The news was published on December 28; a Spanish holiday known as 'Day of the Innocents', which is similar to April Fools' Day.

Last year, the same website staged a hoax about Nelson Piquet Jr signing to drive for the new Campos team.

On Wednesday, the website admitted it had continued its annual tradition of "playing" with its readers by publishing a credible news story that is false.

"Today we can assure you that the purchase of Hispania by Banco Santander is not real," read the new report.