De la Rosa: None of us know what will happen with HRT

Pedro De La Rosa (ESP) HRT Formula One Team. Formula One World Championship, Rd19 United States Grand Prix, Preparations, Austin, Texas, 15 November 2012.

Pedro De La Rosa future uncertain

Nov.22 (Reuters) Formula One tail-enders HRT face an uncertain future after Sunday’s season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix with employees in the dark about plans to sell the team, according to veteran Spanish driver Pedro de la Rosa.

“It’s not easy for anyone, especially mechanics and engineers and people who from now on have to fight for their future. None of us know what will happen,” he told reporters in the Interlagos paddock on Thursday.

“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.”

The Madrid-based team, who have yet to score a point in three seasons, have struggled for cash since their debut and their situation has become more precarious as Spain struggles with a debt crisis.

The majority of F1 teams are based in Britain, within easy reach of the Silverstone circuit and essential suppliers as well as a steady supply of engineering expertise, with HRT the only Spanish-owned outfit.

Their owners Thesan Capital said this month that the team, who also have Indian Narain Karthikeyan as one of their drivers, was up for sale and talks were ongoing with a number of interested parties.

Pedro De La Rosa (ESP) HRT Formula One Team HRT F112 leads Narain Karthikeyan (IND) HRT Formula One Team HRT F112. Formula One World Championship, Rd19 United States Grand Prix, Race, Austin, Texas, 18 November 2012.

However many in the paddock are sceptical about any buyer emerging at a time when all teams are scouring the world for investment. Should HRT fold, the sport will be left with just 11 teams.

“The backing from Spain has been smaller than expected mainly because we have inherited a very difficult economic situation at home,” said De la Rosa.

“We cannot really ask  for more support for the team when people are losing jobs etc.”

Asked about reports of redundancy notices being issued in Spain, the driver said nobody with the team in Brazil had experienced that.

“All I know is that we are here and that everyone here has not received anything. What happens after [the season]  is unknown,” he said.

“We don’t know much about what will happen, I don’t think anyone knows at the moment. I hope the team continues but at this moment in time I cannot say any more.”

F1 has seen a long list of teams come and go over the years, including illustrious ones such as the original Lotus operation.

De La Rosa, who started his F1 career with now-defunct Arrows in 1999, said that only Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull and Mercedes could consider their futures to be in any way guaranteed.

“You only need one investor or one big sponsor to pull the plug and it really starts shaking,” he said. “I think [that] other teams could be in the same situation or worse than us.”

Subbed by AJN.

  • John

    They’re always the slowest in F1, but from where they started this year to how close they are to the back now it’s actually quite impressive. If they didn’t have the slowest drivers too they might not be last either!

  • Veterans Caskets

    nice one dude !!