3 July 2014
Hilmer hits back over Regalia complaints
Hilmer Motorports has responded to Facu Regalia's accusation that they haven't been able to provide him with a competitive car so far in 2014.
Hilmer Motorsport has issued a statement countering Facu Regalia's accusations that the team have been unable to provide him with a competitive car so far in the first four race weekends of the 2014 GP2 Series season.
The Argentinian driver had announced this week that he would no longer be competing for the team with immediate effect, adding: "The team wasn't able to have a competitive car, as I had set-up problems in Bahrain, Spain and Austria, and engine issues throughout the season, even in Monaco."
But the team has taken issue with Regalia's complains and flatly refuted the criticism.
"The reasons and allegations of Facu Regalia for his desired departure of Hilmer Motorsport that he stated in his press release do not comply with the real circumstances and are not substantial from the point of view of Hilmer Motorsport," said the team's response on Thursday.
"Regalia always has been given a competitive car, the results of the pre-season testing prove this fact by constantly being classified in top positions. In rating the results of the season so far, it also has to be taken into account that in three out of four main races the driver wasn't able to finish the race because of driving mistakes and that he had to retire prematurely.
"The reasons for these retirements are neither the fault of the team or technical problems," the statement emphasised.
"Facu Regalia's objections about a lack of engine power are from our point of view baseless accusations," the team continued. "The GP2 standard engines are being supplied by Mecachrome, the engine supplier analyses the data and controls each engine regularly. During these controls the engine of Facu Regalia has been approved and reported that there are no problems.
"Hilmer Motorsport wants to emphasise again that we fully trust in the engine supplier and that we never had any problems with the performance of the engine. We would like to thank our engine supplier for the trustful cooperation so far."
The team has not yet said who would be taking Regalia's place this weekend in Silverstone, and the statement went on to question whether the driver could simply walk away from the team at such short notice.
"The contract of Facu Regalia with Hilmer Motorsport was not complied on a unilateral basis," said the statement. "We would like to point out that Facu Regalia has got a contract with Hilmer Motorsport until the end of the season and that this will be complied with.
"We kindly ask for your understanding on this situation due to legal proceedings," the team added. "Hilmer Motorsport will not comment further as this is not in the nature of Hilmer Motorsport."
On a happier note over in the GP3 Series, Hilmer also announced on Thursday that 17-year-old German driver Sebastian Balthasar will take over the #17 car this weekend from Nikolay Martsenko, putting him alongside team mates Nelson Mason and Riccardo Agostini for his series début.
"We are very happy to have Sebastian Balthasar in our team and we would like to give him a warm welcome," said Hilmer team principal Franz Hilmer. "Sebastian is a young and talented driver who raced in Formula 3. We want to give him the opportunity to show his talent in Silverstone and we hope that we will work together well."
Although the appointment is currently for Silverstone only, Hilmer added: "If everyone is satisfied with the result of the race weekend in England, we would be very happy if Sebastian would stay with us for the rest of the season."
"I am very delighted that I get to race in GP3 Series this weekend," said Balthasar. "It is a fantastic opportunity to prepare and develop for my future career. I would like to thank Franz Hilmer and his team that I can be with them in Silverstone. I have never raced on this track before, I only did some laps on the simulator, but I can't wait to do my first laps in practice."
Elsewhere, rookie Australian Mitch Gilbert has been announced as the new driver of the #25 Trident car in place of Denis Nagulin, who did not compete in Austria.
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