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HRT confirms move to Valencia
HRT CEO Saul Ruiz de Marcos has confirmed that the team will move everything but its technical office to new headquarters in Valencia.
The team's technical office will remain at team principal Colin Kolles' facility in Munich, but the rest of the team will be based in Valencia as de Marcos says "it is in our ID". With most Formula One teams based near Northampton and Milton Keynes in England, de Marcos admits that it is not the obvious solution and could turn out to be a risk for the team, but that as one of the slowest teams HRT has nothing to lose by choosing a different direction.
"We are moving to Spain, which we know that from an economic, logistical thing is not the most efficient thing to do but I think it is in our ID," de Marcos said. "We have a Spanish licence and it is a way to get closer to our sponsors, which will be a Spanish and Latin focus.
"I think the decision is something positive. Normally, because of being one of the slowest cars and also because of that we have to go and look for something a bit different to the rest of the teams. They are in the same area, very similar background. In some time we will see if I was wrong, but I think it is the right strategy to do an approach which is slightly different to what everybody's doing. If I was one of the (bigger teams) I wouldn't do it, but I have to try and do something different."
De Marcos - who owns HRT's owners Thesan Capital - also said that the car would continue to be designed in the Munich facility to enable the team to bring it to the first test in 2012, having not been able to run the F111 before first practice in Melbourne this season.
"Here it was a plan and our policy is to be very discreet in the things that we are doing so we are only announcing things that we have already been working on for some time and we reach a point where it is obvious that somebody will notice like we have a headquarters in Valencia so we have to tell.
"One thing is we are moving the race and test team and most of the back office to be under the same roof to this very nice building that we will have in Valencia. The different thing is that the technical office, we will still keep it in Munich where the car is being designed and developed since the end of August. Also, different to last year we hope not only be at the first race but also the first test with the new car."