Want to fulfill your dream of being an F1 star? Are you Spanish, and do you hold an FIA Super License? Do you have $11,000,000 in a bank account that you’re just waiting to spend? If you answered yes to all of these questions, then Hispania Racing would like to speak with you. Unlike the major F1 teams (Ferrari or McLaren Mercedes, for example) who pay drivers large sums of money to win them races, Hispania Racing is operating on a shoestring budget and can only afford drivers who bring (substantial) funding with them. Last year, Ferrari probably spent $400 to $500 million competing in F1; Hispania Racing spent a mere $45 million. That may be plenty to win races in IndyCar or in NASCAR, but that doesn’t even scratch the surface in F1. By Hispania’s own estimates, they won’t even be able to crack into the top ten without a budget of $165,000,000. That’s a long way off, assuming the team can even survive their current financial crisis.
Former BMW Sauber driver Pedro de la Rosa understands the situation, and is scrambling to find $11,000,000 in sponsorship to race with Hispania for the 2011 season. Hispania has sought team sponsorship from major companies such as Toyota, but without any success. They’re reaching out to other Spanish drivers who may bring sponsor dollars with them, but F1 money is hard to come by in a globally weak economy. In regards to de la Rosa, Hispania’s team owner, Jose Ramon Carabante had this healthy dose of reality to offer:
“Pedro wants to come (race for Hispania in 2011), but it depends very much on the support. Without money, there is no place for him. We can’t allow ourselves a luxury like that.”