New HRT team boss Luis Perez Sala admits it is unlikely that the Spanish outfit will be the next port of call for Jaime Alguersuari after his departure from Toro Rosso.
Alguersuari had been widely tipped to retain his drive before the announcement that Toro Rosso was to replace both of its drivers for the 2012 F1 season, leaving the Spanish with severely limited options if he is to remain on the grid next year.
With a desire to give the team a more Spanish flavour, HRT appeared to be the logical place for Alguersuari to find a drive alongside countryman Pedro de la Rosa, but Sala insisted that it was unlikely he would be part of the team's 2012 line-up.
“It's bad news and incomprehensible,” he told Radio Marca
when asked what he thought of Alguersuari losing his drive. “It's clear that it would be a dream to have him, the very best Christmas present, but I doubt it is realistic because we already have a path with very long conservations with other drivers.”
Sala, who said earlier this week that signing a second driver to partner de la Rosa wasn't top of his agenda as HRT continues to restructure, admitted that it would be a struggle to get the 2012 car ready as planned for pre-season testing, although he remained hopeful that a test would take place before the season opener in Melbourne.
“Inevitably we will be delayed by this reorganisation,” he said. “Additionally, the FIA now requires us to pass the crash tests before we can test, which sets the bar even higher.
“I hope it is all done in late January and we make the pre-season, but if it gets difficult then at least I hope we make the shakedown before Melbourne.”