Pedro de la Rosa has expressed his wish that the beleaguered HRT team will find a way to continue into the 2013 season, despite the general prognosis suggesting that it close its doors as early as Monday.
The Spanish backmarker, which hired de la Rosa in a bid to drum up home nation support, was put up for sale by current owner Thesan Capital after reported talks with a potential Qatari backer broke down in the run-up to the US Grand Prix. Since then, stories of its impending demise have been rife, with sports newspaper Marca
claiming that the offices at Madrid's Caja Magica have already been stripped of equipment and personnel, leaving just those employees on duty at this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix.
"It's not easy for anyone, especially mechanics and engineers and people who from now on have to fight for their future," de la Rosa told Reuters
reporters in the Interlagos paddock on Thursday, "None of us know what will happen. We just have to assume that the team will continue and that we still have to do the best possible job. People are being very professional and keeping their heads down. I feel very comfortable with them."
Although Thesan claimed to still be in talks with parties interested in taking over the team, time would appear to be against any new owner, with design work already halted on what was to have been an all-new 2013 car. de la Rosa openly admits that trying to build a Spanish F1 entry during the current global financial crisis made life tougher for a team that has yet to score a point in three seasons and consequently struggled for investment.
"The backing from Spain has been smaller than expected, mainly because we have inherited a very difficult economic situation at home," the veteran said, "We cannot really ask for more support for the team when people [in Spain] are losing jobs. I know that we are here and that everyone here has not received [a redundancy notice], but what happens afterwards is unknown. We don't know much about what will
happen - I don't think anyone knows at the moment - but I hope the team continues."