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HRT 'hard against the clock' to make 2012 tests

ESPNF1 Staff
November 23, 2011 « Honda engine rumours 'wide of the mark' - McLaren | Barrichello refusing to treat Brazilian GP as his last »
HRT CEO Saul Ruiz de Marcos is happy with the team's progress so far © Sutton Images
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HRT's new CEO Saul Ruiz de Marcos has warned that his team will have to "work hard against the clock" to get its 2012 car on track for pre-season testing.

For the last two years HRT has failed to get its car up and running during winter testing, waiting until the first grand prix of the season to get it on track. This year the team has been taken over by investors Thesan Capital, but new CEO Saul Ruiz de Marcos said it would face the same struggle to get the car ready in time for the start of testing in early February.

"Work on the design of the car has been going on for months and the line of development was defined a while ago," he said. "We have a technical office in Munich where, as of today, we have more than 60 people working on the F112, both in the development and design department and the aerodynamics department. The car will come to fruition for 2012 and we hope to get it on track for pre-season testing, although to do this we must work hard against the clock."

HRT's plans for 2012 include moving its base from an office in Munich, owned by team principal Colin Kolles, to a facility in Valencia.

"We've never denied that one of our objectives is to move and unify HRT's headquarters in Spain," Ruiz de Marcos added. "As of today, taking into account every factor, that is the best option. Different departments are spread around in different places right now, and keeping in mind that the team's license is Spanish, the natural thing would be to move there. For communication, logistics, coordination and cost reasons it is essential that all the departments work together.

"It would save us time and effort, and also give the team an added value if we were based in Spain. Besides, we are one of the smaller teams in Formula One so we have to offer something different to our sponsors. We've had a logistical headquarters in Valencia since the November 1 where we will work until the definitive base is ready."

The team recently confirmed Pedro de la Rosa as a driver for 2012, but is not yet ready to name his team-mate despite current driver Tonio Liuzzi insisting he is "linked with the team for a long period".

"We hope to complete our driver line-up once the season is over," Ruiz de Marcos confirmed. "We are also working hard on next year's sponsors and partners. We will make our first announcements soon and we also hope that the recent events will help to generate confidence and attract people towards us. We are aware that the current economical situation in Spain and the rest of the world isn't ideal, but Formula One is still an unmatchable showcase worldwide and we can offer an interesting and different panorama than other teams."