After some rumors that HRT and Toyota would link up next year — perhaps with HRT basing its 2011 car on the Toyota that never made it to the grid (aka the Stefan GP car), we now can say definitively: those rumors were true.
The teams were talking about a deal. But we know that because Toyota has announced it isn’t going through with the partnership.
Here’s Toyota Motorsport’s statement, via Autosport. (The company’s web site is here.)
“Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) confirms that all cooperation with Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT) has been terminated and will not resume.
“TMG retains all intellectual property rights to its current F1 car and is completely free to pursue other projects and support new customers for its high-performance engineering services.
“TMG regrets that HRT has not met its contractual payment obligations and will pursue all available options to reach a satisfactory conclusion to this matter.”
That’s fancy language for “HRT didn’t pay us.”
The knocking sound you’re hearing is another nail being driven into HRT’s casket.
Anyone want to start laying bets on whether HRT makes it to the grid next year? Or should we do an “HRT death pool”?