New HRT team principal Luis Perez-Sala aware F1 progress will take time

HRT's new team principal Luis Perez-Sala says making steady progress is the Spanish squad's main goal for the 2012 season, the former GP driver conceding it will be a transitional year

New HRT team principal Luis Perez-Sala aware F1 progress will take time

HRT has changed ownership this year and has moved its racing operation from Germany to Valencia in the hope of co-ordinating the team better.

The outfit has also hired Pedro de la Rosa as its leading driver for the next two years.

Perez-Sala, who became team principal earlier this month after the exit of Colin Kolles, says the team is still facing a difficult season in 2012, aware that progress will take time.

"We have finished ahead of Virgin this year, but it's going to be a year of transition," Perez-Sala told AUTOSPORT in a phone interview. "What we want is to create a solid base for the team, and we know you can't do that in a day or a month, or even a year.

"We want to create our small base and make it more solid step by step. It will be a year of transition and we just want the team to make progress step by step. We want to see a good progression from the start to the end of the year."

Perez-Sala said the team is still aiming to have its new car ready in time for the first test of 2012, but admitted that the new crash-test rules will make it a bigger challenge.

From next year, teams will have to pass all mandatory crash tests before being allowed to test during the pre-season.

"We are going to try but it will be hard, that's the reality," he said of making the first test at Jerez. "What has changed this year is that you have to pass the crash tests before running and that makes it harder.

"We are going to try. But what you try and what you achieve are two different things. I'll tell you when we are in Melbourne. We are going to try, that's for sure."

He said testing with the old car was a possibility if the new one isn't ready.

"It's a possibility. Maybe. If we don't make it with the new car we may do it to give some track time to the drivers, but it's something we are not thinking about because right now we are planning to make it with the 2012 car."

The team is yet to confirm its second driver for 2012, but Perez-Sala said signing Jaime Alguersuari - who has lost his seat at Toro Rosso - was unlikely.

"The thing is that it has taken everybody by surprise," he said of Alguersuari's exit from STR.

"Nobody expected it. I wouldn't have bet anything on that happening. So we are in pretty advanced talks with other drivers. Until everything is done I don't want to say anything, but it's going to be difficult."

And he admitted the second driver will need to bring financial backing in order to secure the seat.

"Yes. We are a small team and we need to cover the budget as best as possible. I would like it to be different, but at the moment we don't have a choice. We hope to change that over time, but at the moment we need the support."

shares
comments
The F1 team principals' top ten drivers
Previous article

The F1 team principals' top ten drivers

Next article

Q & A with Luis Perez-Sala

Q & A with Luis Perez-Sala
How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022