Bankers and Formula 1 are not a natural fit. The sport is much more suited to buccaneers and cowboys and the cautious banking types who wander into the F1 arena generally end up leaving without their shirts and often without their trousers as well. F1 is simply not a business where corporate thinking works. In F1 everything moves fast. Decisions have to be made five minutes after a question is asked. Nothing stands still. Bankers are risk-averse by nature. They are not all Gordon Geckos. When they wander into F1 and say: “It’s just like any other business” you know that they are bound to fail. The whole point is that F1 is absolutely NOT like any other business.
But rich folks always know better and bankers are prone to overestimating their own prowess.
The folk who took over Hispania Racing Team after the previous owners failed to pay their bills, were naive enough to build up the team in Spain (a daft idea). They planned to use the Spanish-ness of the team as an asset and thought that this would help them to sell the team to someone else at a later date and thus make back the money that they had loaned. They even thought that they would make a profit.
Oink, oink, flap, flap.
The pain of pouring money into an F1 team has not been to their taste and now they want someone to buy them out of their misery. They will take a big loss but, to be brutally honest, they deserve to. Rule number one when buying a racing team is to NOT try to re-invent the wheel. F1 teams are largely based in the UK for a good reason. You need expertise and thus you need to be inside the F1 cluster. Stay outside and you get the dregs – unless you are willing to pay WAY over the odds.
The team is now officially up for sale and that in itself is a message of utter defeat. This will bring all the nutters out of the woodwork and some will spin impressive tales of how much money they have to invest.
Any real live buyers would done a deal on the quiet, out of the public eye. Usually with Bernie Ecclestone involved in the background.
My feeling is that there will be 11 teams in F1 in 2013.