Pérez-Sala becomes HRT Team Principal
15 December 2011 – Just one day after the departure of Colin Kolles was announced by HRT, the Murcia-based squad has named Barcelona's Luis Pérez-Sala as its new Team Principal. The former driver, who raced in Formula 1 for Minardi across 1988 and 1989, has been part of the outfit since joining as an advisor in July.
Having made its debut in 2010, the team formerly known as Hispania Racing has been headed by Kolles, although Sala’s entrance as Team Principal is part of a reshuffle for the outfit now owned by Spanish group Thesan Capital, which has already signed Pedro de la Rosa as its lead driver for 2012.
“This is an honour but also a great responsibility,” says Pérez-Sala. “I joined the team as an advisor to the new owners and to contribute with my experience in any possible way. We had to establish a base from which to grow slowly and we are now seeing the first rewards of that work. But we mustn’t lose our perspective and be aware that assuming responsibilities such as designing the car or moving the headquarters to Spain are huge tasks and we still have a lot of work ahead.
“We must be patient and keep in mind that we cannot expect to achieve great success in the short term, but we can take a team forward that we can all feel proud of. The simple fact that Spain has a team at the pinnacle of motorsports is already a great feat. We’re a part of the G12 and that, apart from being an honour, means a greater development to the structure and everything surrounding it.”
The move has been engineered by Thesan head and team CEO Saúl Ruiz de Marcos.
“From the moment we took control of the team last July, the first thing we did was to study and value where we were whilst also set ourselves a target and establishing a strategy,” he explains. “We have been working discretely but relentlessly towards this for the last few months. We’ve always made it clear that our priorities were the car, the headquarters and our drivers. The car is evolving, Pedro has been a great asset to the team and we have always wanted to settle the team in Spain and have everybody working under one roof.
“Since we began working with Luis our connection has been great. Now he takes on a much more key role in the team but the decision was an easy one, given his knowledge and his way of doing things - it is the best decision we could have made. I would like to also thank Colin (Kolles) and Manfredi (Ravetto) for their work and dedication over these two years and I wish them the very best for the future.”
HRT was classified 11th in the Constructors’ Championships of both 2010 and 2011.