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2013 season likely to feature just 11 teams
Thursday 15th November 2012, 18:42 by Ryan Wood
© HRT F1 Team
It is looking increasingly likely that the grid will shrink to just 22 cars next season as speculation that the HRT team won't find a buyer in time mounts.
The 'Spanish' outfit was put up for sale by current owners Thesan Capital last week. The investment company bought the team from Jose Ramon Carabante in 2011 and since then have failed to turn its fortunes around.
They have very little in the way of assets other than an outdated and rather slow car, a rented factory and machinery, an entry to compete and a 2013 engine contract with Cosworth. All of this certainly isn't worth the asking price.
The latest news coming from its rented Madrid base is that all employees have been handed their redundancy notices which will take effect "within weeks" if a buyer isn't found.
This isn't great news at all for Formula One, regardless of what you think about the team. HRT may not be challenging the midfield or even its main competitiors Caterham and Marussia - the latter of which has taken a step forward this season.
However lest we forget that HRT have attended every race during its three-year history (albeit missing a couple of races due to the re-introduction of the 107% regulation) and not only that, but they finished ahead of Marussia in 2010 and 2011.
The team and particularly the owners - who don't understand the sport - can certainly shoulder much of the blame, but F1 itself is at fault. How can a small team be expected to compete with giants such as Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren who's budgets stretch into the hundreds of millions of dollars, when HRT (and the other 12 teams) were promised a budget cap which failed to materialise once they had committed themselves. F1 must do more to reduce the cost of competing if they're to give others a chance and to ensure the fans at home enjoy a race with more than a handful of cars.