HRT owners in talks to sell F1 team

LONDON Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:52pm IST

HRT Formula One team principal Luis Perez-Sala gestures during a news conference following the second practice session of the Australian F1 Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne March 16, 2012. REUTERS/Brandon Malone/Files

HRT Formula One team principal Luis Perez-Sala gestures during a news conference following the second practice session of the Australian F1 Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne March 16, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Brandon Malone/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - Spanish-based Formula One backmarkers HRT are up for sale and talks are ongoing with a number of groups interested in buying the team, owners Thesan Capital said in a statement on Monday.

The team, who have yet to score a point in three years, have Indian Narain Karthikeyan and Spanish veteran Pedro De la Rosa as their two current drivers in a season that ends later this month.

HRT said on their website (www.hrtf1team.com) that the owners hoped to conclude a sale in the next few weeks.

"We believe the moment to let new investors come through for HRT Formula One Team has arrived," it quoted team management as saying.

"The time has come for the team to continue growing with new financial backing. We're convinced that the sporting potential of the team is huge and that the presence of new investors can give it a big boost."

Thesan Capital took over HRT in July last year, with former grand prix driver Luis Perez-Sala becoming the team principal and the headquarters moving to Madrid.

HRT have developed links with China this year with Shanghai-born Ma Qing Hua driving their car in some Friday practice sessions and enlisted in their young driver development programme.

The team held an event in Shanghai last week to recognise Ma Qing Hua's achievement in becoming the first Chinese-born driver to take part in a grand prix weekend.

"We are very proud of him and we wish him and the team the very best. We will also make a big effort to support him," Zhao Yingua, chairman of Shanghai Automobile and Motorsports Association, said at the time in a team statement.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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