Kolles insists HRT will see out the F1 season

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HRT principal Colin Kolles is insisting his team will see out the 2010 Formula 1 season, although he admits the team doesn’t have the sponsorship levels he’d hoped for by this point.

But, on the plus side, the team isn’t mired in debt (as he hints some others might be).

It’s all courtesy the ever-reliable Autosport:

“We had budget discussions over the Monza weekend and it has been approved,” he said. “And it is business as normal. We have to achieve certain targets and to be honest with you there is nothing special.”

Kolles has revealed that HRT has paid its engine bill for the remainder of the season which, as its biggest outlay, is a sign of its commitment to see out 2010.

“The engine bill is paid. It is paid in full for the whole year, the same as with the rest. I think actually we are in a better financial situation than many others. That we need more money is very clear, that is nothing to deny, but there are others who have many more debts and many more creditors than we have.

“We have to pay everything up front, so the moment we are not running that means we have not paid. So, as long as we are running, we have paid. This situation has to change, because this has nothing to do with normal business. Every company has certain payment terms – but this is a matter of trust and confidence.”

When asked if the team was secure to finish 2010, Kolles said: “I think so, yes. There are some crucial bills and most of the crucial bills and contracts have been respected. The engine is paid in full. We still have five races to go, so I think this shows already the situation we are in.”

Interesting. For some reason, his focus on paying up front versus going into debt sounds like a convincing argument to me. It would, I suspect, mean the team would seem to be well behind others in terms of additional bells and whistles — sort of a “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality. Their house might be the crappiest on the block, but at least they own it. Sure, it doesn’t have a pool, but it doesn’t have a mortgage, either.

Kolles also adds a little bravado to his position: “We will see who will finish the season and who doesn’t finish the season. And we will see who will be on the grid next year and who isn’t on the grid next year. I am used to this.”

As more typical F1 talk, that makes me less confident in his position. But in the balance, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

I wonder, though, which team he might be suggesting won’t make it. Lotus, having just bought the rights to the old Team Lotus brand, seems to have its eyes on the future.

Paging Sir Richard Branson.

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