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Lopez rules out F1 in 2010

ESPNF1 Staff
March 5, 2010 « HRT unveils 2010 car | »
Jose Maria Lopez's plans to drive for US F1 fell through © Sutton Images
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Jose Maria 'Pechito' Lopez will not take part in Formula One this year after his manager revealed that he had not been able to land a reserve driver role at HRT.

Lopez was in line for a race seat at US F1, but when it emerged the team had no hope of making the grid for the first race in Bahrain, he pursued the possibility of driving for HRT. However, after the Spanish outfit launched its new car and confirmed its drivers as Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok on Thursday, Lopez's manager Felipe McGough admitted his driver would not be taking any part in F1 this season.

"All the possibilities for Pechito to be in Formula One have been frustrated," he said.

There are reports that HRT did not accept the financial terms offered by Lopez, after USF1 apparently refused to give him back an advance payment of US$830,000. Moreover, some of the sponsors supporting Lopez were not 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 and his management will sue USF1 for the return of the advance payment, even though keeping the money is not technically a breach of the contract.