The launch of the new HRT team on Thursday spelled an end to Jose Maria 'Pechito' Lopez's chances of a role in formula one this year.

The launch of the new HRT team on Thursday spelled an end to Jose Maria 'Pechito' Lopez's chances of a role in formula one this year.

Although the current feature on the failed USF1's website is the Argentine's deal to make his grand prix debut next week, 26-year-old Lopez has since terminated that contract.

His management has been in talks about instead becoming the reserve driver at the former Campos team, but on Thursday the grey HRT car was revealed to the public without Lopez in sight.

"All the possibilities for Pechito to be in formula one have been frustrated," his manager Felipe McGough was quoted as saying by the Argentine news agency Telam.

Other reports in the Spanish-language media said HRT did not accept the financial terms offered by Lopez, after USF1 apparently refused to give him back an advance payment in the amount of $830,000.

Moreover, some of the sponsors that were keen to see Lopez on the Bahrain grid were not so keen to see him in the non-driving reserve role.

Lopez's father said: "I will not go further in this nonsense. I'm tired. Yesterday afternoon I called it quits. The story must finish because they are burning my son's head."

It is now rumoured that the Lopez entourage will sue USF1 for the return of the advance payment, even though keeping the money is not technically a breach of the contract.

 

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