Dec 15, 2011 (F1plus team) - Hispania Formula One team has been busy lately, with a string of important moves that might define the future of the scudería for years to come.
First it came the signing of Pedro de La Rosa as head driver, who will serve as the image of an all Spaniard team. On Wednesday it was announced that the team Principal, Colin Kolles, had left the Spanish outfit on after two years in charge of the struggling team. Then, today, the team named Barcelona's Luis Pérez-Sala as the new head.
The Murcia-based squad said that the Kolles departure was “…due to the new direction that the team has taken and the decision of the new management to move the team headquarters to Spain." Kolles had replaced Adrian Campos at the head of the team in 2010.
On the other hand, Pérez-Sala, a 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.
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.
HRT was classified 11th in the Constructors’ Championships of both 2010 and 2011.