Korean consortium eyes HRT buy-in image

HRT boss, Jose Ramon Carabante has admitted that the Spanish team’s failure to qualify under the 107% rule for the 2011 season opener in Australia last weekend was due to financial problems.

HOWEVER, A Korean consortium is reportedly interested in buying into the struggling Hispania team.

Italiaracing.net said the talks with owner Jose Ramon Carabante recently began “although the amount requested by the Spanish businessman is apparently quite high”.

Carabante recently told Cadena Ser radio that he is not ruling out selling some of his HRT stake.

“We are talking with investors but what I don’t want is to sell the team and disappear,” he said after Vitantonio Liuzzi and Narain Karthikeyan failed to qualify for the 2011 season opener in Australia.

“It’s ok if someone comes with an offer to have the majority and I’m left with a stake,” added Carabante.

“Right now there are teams worth 40, 60, 70 million euros, depending on how you finish the championship. There are twelve teams and we are one of them,” he said.

After the Melbourne debacle, team boss Colin Kolles said he is confident the Cosworth-powered F111 will have a better outing at Sepang this weekend.

It also emerged at Sepang on Thursday that the car’s 2011-specification wing has passed the FIA crash test and is being shipped from Europe.

“We know that the car has potential and we hope that we will be able to get all updates on the cars,” said Kolles. “The 107pc (rule) should not be an issue under normal circumstances.”

Tonio Liuzzi and Narain Karthikeyan’s new F111s were still being completed in the pits and managed very few practice laps before failing to qualify for the Melbourne race.