Saul Ruiz de Marcos, the new CEO of the HRT F1 team, admits that the team is working 'hard against the clock' to ensure its 2012 car is ready to start pre-season testing.
For the past two years, the team hasn't be able to test its car until the first weekend of the season and has then been forced to play catch-up with its rivals as a result.
However, following the takeover earlier this year by Thesan Capital, the team is aiming to have the new F112 ready for the start of pre-season testing, although Ruiz de Marcos admitted it was going to be a race against time.
“Work on the design of the car has been going on for months and the line of development was defined a while ago,” he said. “We have a technical office in Munich where, as of today, we have more than 60 people working on the F112, both in the development and design department and the aerodynamics department. The car will come to fruition for 2012 and we hope to get it on track for preseason testing, although to do this we must work hard against the clock.”
Work has also started on a new base for the team in Valencia, rather than continuing to be based at Colin Kolles' facility in Germany, while the team is also seeking a team-mate for Pedro de la Rosa – although the announcement of a second driver won't be made in the immediate future.
“We've never denied that one of our objectives is to move and unify HRT's headquarters in Spain,” he said. “As of today, taking into account every factor, that is the best option. Different departments are spread around in different places right now, and keeping in mind that the team's license is Spanish, the natural thing would be to move there. For communication, logistics, coordination and cost reasons it is essential that all the departments work together. It would save us time and effort, and also give the team an added value if we were based in Spain. Besides, we are one of the smaller teams in Formula 1 so we have to offer something different to our sponsors. We've had a logistical headquarters in Valencia since the 1st of November where we will work until the definitive base is ready.
“We are meeting our targets and on the right path but we still have a lot of work to do. The 2012 car is going well and so is work on a new headquarters. We hope to complete our driver line-up once the season is over. We are also working hard on next year's sponsors and partners. We will make our first announcements soon and we also hope that the recent events will help to generate confidence and attract people towards us.
“We are aware that the current economical situation in Spain and the rest of the world isn't ideal but Formula 1 is still an unmatchable showcase worldwide and we can offer an interesting and different panorama than other teams.”