HRT boss Luis Perez-Sala says the team is determined to make progress up the F1 pecking order, although he admits it will take time for the team to grow.
For the third successive season, HRT finds itself languishing at the back of the grid although progress has been made away from the track with the team having now moved into a new base in Madrid having been purchased by Thesan Capital last year.
Having failed to qualify for the opening race of the year, HRT has closed the gap to Marussia and has beaten its rival on a number of occasions, with Perez-Sala saying he was happy with the progress being made.
“We are quite happy,” he said. “I am quite pleased because the start of the season was very, very difficult; to have the car ready was almost a goal. And then, from the first race where we did not qualify, we have been improving the team. We have new headquarters since April 1st in Madrid. The race team is already working on, I will say, getting used to the races and we still need to grow the team on the design and the aero side.
“The problem is when you are short in economic… no, in the budget – we have maybe the lowest budget of any Formula One team – you need more time to grow because you cannot do whatever you want. You have to be careful – but I think we have enough to make a good team and to stay. That's why we are here. We try to improve but we have to be realistic. And it is going to take time for us.”
Perez-Sala added that the team was slowing growing in size even though finding the right people for HRT wasn't easy.
“You have more people on the market and we can find them,” he said. “The problem is that it's not easy to find the good people to work for HRT. Sometimes it's not easy to find who are just the key persons. But we are there, we are having a lot of interviews and slowly, slowly we are growing. We are hiring people. And even if we want to keep it as a small team, I think if we optimise our research, we can improve our performance and be closer to the front rows.”