22 November 2012
HRT seeking reward at end of trying season
The HRT F1 team may only have one race left before it faces an uncertain future, but remains positive in its outlook for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
With its short F1 history likely to come to an abrupt end after the Brazilian Grand Prix, the HRT will be looking to go out on a high at Interlagos this weekend.
While not make any direct reference to the fate that most expect to befall the team on Monday, when the remaining members of the squad are likely to be told they are redundant unless a buyer miraculously appears over the horizon on a shining steed, team principal Luis Perez Sala vows that everyone will continue to give their all.
"We are all looking forward to one of the best races of the season, where the championship title will be decided,” he said, reflecting on the battle at the front of the field between Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso.
“At HRT, we will be facing our own challenge, but I know that everyone will give their best, as they have done since we started with this amazing project. We managed to build it from scratch in record time and we can all be proud of what we have achieved. I am really proud of every single team member that made this happen, with their effort and commitment, and I am confident that in Brazil we can have a good race. That would be a nice reward for the team to conclude this very long and tough season with a positive result.”
While the HRT website still advertises position that the team would like to fill, the writing has been on the wall since current owner Thesan Capital issued the shock announcement that it was putting the operation up for sale ahead of the last weekend's USGP. A deal with a Qatari investor interested in acquiring the team fell through and, without the profits it had hoped to see, Thesan decided that enough was enough, apparently willing to simply close the Madrid-based programme if it can't be offloaded.
The closure would leave Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan among those looking for work next year, but neither driver was contemplating that fate as they looked forward to the finale in Brazil.
"It is incredible how time flies and for us to get to Brazil for the last race of the season, after everything we've achieved, makes me very proud,” the Spaniard, hired to give the team a more Spanish flavour in the search for backers, said, “The race in Brazil is always a very special grand prix, not only because of the track's layout, but also for the F1 history and the fans.
“It is a short but challenging track where it is possible to overtake, but the weather and the possible showers can also play an important role in the race's outcome. If that would be the case, we will be ready to take our chances. It is the last race of the season and we will do our best to achieve a good result. It would be something fantastic to do, not only for the whole team that has worked so hard throughout the year, but also for the fans that have been an amazing support this season.”
Should the unexpected happen and HRT score even an eleventh place, it could be enough to vault the team above both Marussia and Caterham and into tenth spot in the constructors' standings, a position that would, ironically, produce a financial reward for its shoestring efforts.
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