Perez-Sala takes over as HRT team principal

2011 F1 season

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Luis Perez-Sala

Former F1 driver Luis Perez-Sala has taken over from Colin Kolles as team principal at HRT.

Perez-Sala, 52, said: “This naming is an honor but also a great responsibility.

“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 in the pinnacle of motorsports is already a great feat; we’re a part of the G12. And that, apart from being an honor, means a greater development to the structure and everything surrounding it.”

Perez-Sala made 26 starts for Minardi in 1988 and 1989, with a best finish of sixth in the 1989 British Grand Prix.

HRT team CEO Saul Ruiz de Marcos said: “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 make.

“I would like to also thank Colin and Manfredi [Ravetto] for their work and dedication in these two years that the team has existed and I wish them the very best for the future.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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34 comments on “Perez-Sala takes over as HRT team principal”

  1. Hmmm…. has this guy got any experience other than two seasons for Minardi?

    HRT need to get their balls out and find someone who can really drive the team up the grid

  2. I hope they’re going to pick up Alguersuari.

    1. Team Spain.

      I think it must be odds on.

      1. Damn. I’d forgot about that. I think it’s likely Jaime will take the seat.
        Don’t get me wrong, I think he deserves F1, but that isn’t exactly good news for Liuzzi…

        1. And Liuzzi? Still deserves F1?

          1. @Fixy @JC I think Fixy might be a little bias in that area ;)

        2. @AndrewTanner why do you say so? :P
          That’s bad news for Liuzzi, whether I want him to be in F1 or not. It’s not bad news for Karthikeyan as he knows he won’t be there, Ricciardo already has a seat at STR, but Liuzzi is hopeful of remaining in F1.
          It’s bad news for me when there are bad news for Liuzzi…

    2. SennaNmbr1 (@)
      15th December 2011, 16:34

      Maybe Alonso will see out his career with them :)

  3. So, the team was established by Adrian Campos (21 career starts). It is now run by Luis Perez-Sala (26 career starts). To date, it has employed Karun Chandhok (10 starts for the team), Narain Karthikeyan (8 starts), Sakon Yamamoto (7 starts), Christian Klein (3 starts), and Giorgio Mondini (9 appearances as test driver in 2007).

    In order to reflect the change in ownership,I think the team should be renamed. I suggest “LORD”, the League of Obscure Racing Drivers.

    1. hahaha “Hand-Me-Down GP”

    2. Your comments are usually brilliant. Especially this one.

      1. Thank you, @eggry.

    3. Funny. HRT does invite recollections of Coloni, Osella, Rial, AGS. Larousse and many other disorganised, hopeless teams that riddled the grid from early 80s to early 90s. They managed to survive for sometime (ocasionally quite a long time – 10 years for Osella) but their contribution to the sport was more or less meaningless in terms of results or promoting young drivers.
      Suppose Campos and Sala brought with them bad karma from that era

      1. With the extortionate costs of F1 nowadays I really struggle to fathom how HRT can still have the money to keep going, unlike the old days of Coloni, Rial etc.

    4. If this doesn’t get comment of the day, there is no justice.

      1. @joey-poey – It didn’t, but I don’t mind too much.

        1. I saw. I’m gonna make a time machine out of Delorean and go fix it. JUST WATCH.

    5. @prisoner-monkeys “What is this? Amateur hour?!”

  4. I think HRT is so sad: the team was running badly in the past three years, and they solve by Spanifying the entire team. Why can’t they attract more experienced people like Lotus and Virgin/Marussia do?

    1. There are positives to all being Spanish though, it may instil a kind of common bond between everyone there. Unfortunately, it does limit your options when you choose on the basis of nationality and not individual talent… but you never know, F1 is such a team game it may just pay off.

      1. It’s almost becoming like the late A1GP (especially if Caterham was named 1Malaysia instead!)…

    2. Why can’t they attract more experienced people like Lotus and Virgin/Marussia do?

      Because Caterham and Marussia are more attractive. They have bigger budgets. They have better drivers. They have a stronger car. They are more professional.

  5. Well, I liked Kolles.

    Good luck, but I don’t see the angle for this. I really don’t.

  6. Perez-Sala’s nephew, Daniel Juncadella, won the Macau GP this year. I reckon he might get a seat at HRT in 2013 or 2014.

    1. If they’re still around by then, that is.

    2. interesting thing you point out, but what i want to see it’s how alguersuari matches with de la rosa. To really see how good he has become.
      If he is better de la rosa is gone for good, if not forget about a f1 career.

    3. @enigma – Daniel Juncadella might have won in Macau, but I think the smarter money for the next big Spanish talent is Roberto Merhi (the one who was complaining that sponsors beat talent when trying to break into Formula 1). Juncadella is okay, but he really needs to race in a mid-tier series like GP2 in order to display his talents before thinking about Formula 1.

  7. Perez-Sala was team mates with Adrian Campos at Minardi. HRT was originally Campos – his former team mates team! Funny how things link up sometimes…

  8. Good luck to this team. They might become the surprise of 2012. I would not go so far to predict wins but feel the nationality pride may yield results unexpected. If their car is good and the livery reflects the spirit of the nation then anything is possible.

    1. Scrap this year’s livery? The livery of the F111 is too good to be scrapped, probably one of the best, if not the best, on the grid!

      1. FOR CERTAIN

        1. So PieLighter you like to go to the carnival do you??

      2. TED BELL hates the livery. We were talking about it the other day.

        I however, love it!

  9. Well, it’s all change at HRT it seems!

    Perhaps not a bad thing. They’re finally getting some investment so it makes sense to chop and change while you can, while you have the financial freedom to do so. It’s not like they can end up much further at the back.

    Good luck to them.

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