Pedro de la Rosa has defended the viability of struggling HRT whilst its new owners trying to build up a F1 team in the midst of a near-unprecedented economic crisis.
The unemployment rate in Spain has spiralled past 20 per cent, and yet owners Thesan have taken on the task of rebuilding the former Hispania team following the departure of boss Colin Kolles and all the infrastructure. The F112, bearing more than a striking resemblance to the Dallara-designed 2010 and 2011 car, was launched recently with a new livery but only two visible sponsors.
Asked whether it is a good time to push ahead in Spain with a Formula One project, lead driver de la Rosa said: “Any moment can be good. There is a large labour force in Spain, highly educated and motivated people, young people pushing hard and experienced people.”
But in F1, money is the fuel and it’s difficult to come by at present.
“This is a time of crisis,” de la Rosa acknowledged to DPA news agency, “and also it has been noticed in Formula One and budgets have gone down.”
He admitted, however, that HRT will have to attract more backing in order to survive.
“If the (financial) injection does not come, it is going to be difficult,” de la Rosa continued. “We need sponsors, investors who believe in the project, to help us to grow. It’s obvious, we need it, but first we need to build a foundation so it can be seen that it is profitable to invest in our team.”