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Valsecchi joins HRT wanted list

ESPNF1 Staff
November 18, 2010 « Maldonado 'pushing' for Williams decision | »
Davide Valsecchi enjoyed his time behind the wheel of the HRT © Sutton Images
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Davide Valsecchi has joined Pedro de la Rosa as a possible candidate for a race seat at HRT in 2011 after the Italian GP2 star impressed team boss Colin Kolles during the young drivers tests in Abu Dhabi.

Driving the HRT alongside Pastor Maldonado and Josef Kral, the winner of the GP2 sprint race was comfortably the quickest of the young runners with the Spanish outfit and the fastest of any driver behind the wheel of F1's new teams.

"Italy should support him," Kolles told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "He definitely did an awesome job. It took him a few laps to understand the car, while some of his colleagues did not succeed even after a full season."

Meanwhile, De la Rosa has received a €8 to 10 million price-tag for a 2011 race seat with HRT thanks to the investment of Telefonica chairman Juan Villalonga. And team owner Jose Ramon Carabante has now admitted that the team will again be relying on pay-drivers.

"Pedro wants to come, but it depends very much on the support. Without money, there is no place for him. We can't allow ourselves a luxury like that," Carabante told Cadena Ser radio. "He needs to contribute about eight or ten million. We have spoken with companies to try to attract sponsors, and we would like to have two Spanish drivers for our identity and someone like Pedro who can give us some direction for 2012."

Carabante also confirmed that HRT is currently in a crucial week of negotiations to decide on the future of the team.

"A budget needs to be above 120 or 130 million euros. With that we will achieve a leap into the top ten. This year we had 45 (million) and next year it will be 55 and we would like 65 at least. Ferrari for example is in 400 million each season."