Date: 3rd December 2012 at 9:54am
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The struggling Spanish HRT Formula One team have not been included in the official FIA entry list of teams for the 2013 season.

The team who finished last in the 2012 Formula One constructors championship had been up for sale by owners Thesan Capital just before the United States Grand Prix in November and the team have failed to pay the entry fee of $500,000, which was due at the end of last month.

That news officially leaves Formula One with eleven teams for next season, with it now looking highly unlikely that the HRT team can be saved.

‘Four years ago I suggested to a friend to make an F1 team. Today after three seasons he has written the last page of HRT.’ HRT’s technical director, Toni Cuquerella, tweeted following the news.

If this does turn out to be the final chapter for HRT, then it will act as a warning to anyone who fancies entering Formula One as a private team.

In three seasons of competition, the newbie team which entered alongside Lotus [now Caterham] and Virgin [now Marussia], have held three names, they began the first chapter as Campos, changed names to Hispania and then moved onto HRT.

They failed to score a single point in three years of competition and have suffered severe financial problems whilst failing to really compete at the back of the Formula One grid.

In 2010 and 2011 they did beat Marussia in the constructors championship, but in 2012, Marussia and Caterham took a step forward in their development and left HRT behind.

Formula One needs competitive teams in the paddock and Marussia and Caterham are showing how difficult it is to close the gaps to the mid-pack teams, but both have shown potential and belief that they could do that.

HRT never really filled that gap or showed that same promise, but at least they were there and if the 2013 season begins with 11 teams it will be a shame for the sport.