Colin Kolles says HRT is "quite safe" and in a better position financially than some rivals

Colin Kolles is adamant that the future of the HRT team is "quite safe" at the moment and that there are many rival Formula 1 teams in a worse position financially

Colin Kolles says HRT is "quite safe" and in a better position financially than some rivals

HRT changed owners at the start of July, with Spanish investment company Thesan Capital taking a controlling stake.

Kolles says his priority with the team has been first and foremost to secure its future, something he reckons he has achieved now.

Despite the team still being at the back of the grid, Kolles claims there are many rivals in worse shape.

"My direction is always clear. You have to secure a team to make it financially viable; to make it safe so it survives," Kolles told AUTOSPORT. "This is one of the first objectives, because if you are not managing this, then you can have a lot of dreams, a lot of fantasies, but they will never come across because you won't exist.

"So the first step is always to secure the team, and then you have to build it up step by step. I think the team is quite safe.

"I think that we are in a much better position than many other teams here in the paddock, and now we have to start to improve this team at full power, as quickly as possible. I know that people are impatient sometimes, especially journalists.

"But you can't say things that are not realistic for me. You have to go step by step and to improve the team, that's all. To have a structure that's stronger and then you can add certain elements which can improve the team."

Kolles also said there were no doubts about his role in the team, despite some speculation suggesting he would leave his position.

"I have been told I'm the team principal of this team and I'm the team principal of this team, there's nothing more and nothing less to say about it. I'm always committed."

The team boss says the team is planning to increase its staff to a reasonable level, but always with the aim of being the "most efficient Formula 1 team".

"We are not going to ramp up to 500 people, because I think that's inefficient, that's for sure," he added. "We will ramp up to be a serious Formula 1 team which is still the most efficient Formula 1 team, even in the future. But to be independent the key is to have either suppliers which are really committed to your team, or to have the structure to do it yourself.

"So it's a matter of mathematics, to see where is the efficiency and to have the right suppliers in place committed to you, dedicated to you, and that they are working harder than maybe some employees could work for you. So it's about having the right people and the right suppliers."

Kolles said HRT is already working on the basis for next year's car, but claimed there are still plans to improve the 2011 machine in order to continue making progress towards the front.

"We are preparing a basis for next season, but we are obviously planning to have upgrades also on this car. But the things which are upgrades for this can you can also take them into consideration for 2012. It's a flow, an evolution. We are not going to say that rubbish now, 'we forget everything and start from zero'.

"Even if you start from zero you start with a baseline. That the car will be completely new is clear. You have new monocoque regulations, you have new nose regulations, everything changes again.

"We are working with several design offices in the UK. The plan was to have one facility in the UK. We are not in a position to have this facility right now, because of maybe political reasons."

HRT is currently in 11th position in the standings thanks to a 13th place in Canada. The team is one place behind Lotus, which has managed the same result twice.

Kolles conceded HRT's pace is not strong enough at the moment, but he believes the team has the ability to benefit from its rivals' mistakes.

"We could have been 12th in Valencia, but we would have needed four or five laps more," he said. "But this is the situation and we have to fight. We know we are not competitive in terms of speed, we are realistic about this.

"But we are maybe competitive in order to have certain races where we can take certain advantages out of the mess others are creating for themselves."

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