The relationships between the members of the HRT team and the team owners has been going downhill rapidly in the last couple of weeks as members of the crew felt that the owners are trying to dodge their commitments when to redundancies. I was warned in Brazil that bad things were happening but with nothing more than that to back up the story it was difficult to write anything about what was going on.
What I do know is that there was a meeting on Thursday in Sao Paulo during which the team decided whether or not it should take part in the race, because there were fears that some of the parts on the cars, notably the rear brakes had gone beyond their lifing. The decision, I am told, was left up to the drivers and they felt that it was the right thing to race, even if there was no future for the team.
There are reports today that when the team members returned to Madrid after the race there was a confrontation with one of the management and that the police were called. No-one was arrested, but reports were published suggesting that the team members were drunk.
I am told that this was not the case at all and that the team members became irate when they were not allowed to leave the premises until they agreed to sign a contract termination document; and that personal effects, such as car keys, were withheld.
I guess you can believe whichever story you like but whatever the case, it is a sad end to a story that involved a lot of people doing a lot of work in an effort to keep the team alive.