FIA president Max Mosley opened a place to three new teams in 2010, irritated by the crescent expenditure numbers on the circuit and the factory up’s and go’s. The condition was that as long as they could restrict their budget to US$40 million per year, they could participate. While the amount may seem too much for you and me, it was too little for the F1 demands of the time.

Even then, three outfits presented themselves (one of those, the ill-fated USF1 was almost a joke, later replaced by Lotus/Caterham). The other two were Virgin (Later Marussia and then Manor) and Hispania. The latter was born as an alliance between former race driver Adrián Campos and the businessman Alejandro Agag (the man behind Formula E success), but neither one, stayed on board when it was confirmed. That being so, the car, with Cosworth power, had no down-force at all, and soon it became apparent that the three novices would fight each other and nothing more.

It was as if F1 had a second-tier class, even though they had drivers like Pedro de la Rosa, Bruno Senna and Daniel Ricciardo, who would prove their talent elsewhere or had already done so. In three years, changes on the cars were little, spare parts were scarce and there were no updates at all. Come 2012 and the only hope from José Ramón Carabante, the then owner, was to sell the outfit to some Arabic investors who never came. HRT closed its doors with a 15th place as the best result.


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