Luis Perez Sala has been appointed team principal of HRT, as replacement for the departing Colin Kolles.
The former Minardi driver has acted as an advisor for the new owners, and played a key role in getting Pedro de la Rosa on board.
By co-incidence in 1988 he was team mate to Adrian Campos, the man who founded what became HRT under its original Campos Meta name, but left before its first race.
“I joined the team as an advisor to the new owners and to contribute with my experience in any possible way,” said Sala. “We had to establish a base from which to grow slowly, and we are now seeing the first rewards of that work. But we mustn’t lose our perspective and be aware that assuming responsibilities such as designing the car or moving the headquarters to Spain are huge tasks and we still have a lot of work ahead.
“We must be patient and keep in mind that we cannot expect to achieve great success in the short term, but we can take a team forward that we can all feel proud of. The simple fact that Spain has a team in the pinnacle of motorsports is already a great feat; we’re a part of the G12. And that, apart from being an honour, means a greater development to the structure and everything surrounding it.”
Explaining the decision, CEO Saúl Ruiz de Marcos said: “From the moment we took control of the team last July, the first thing we did was to study and value where we were, whilst also set ourselves a target and establish a strategy. We have been working discretely but relentlessly towards this for the last few months.
“We’ve always made it clear that our priorities were the car, the headquarters and our drivers. The car is evolving, Pedro has been a great asset to the team and we have always wanted to settle the team in Spain and have everybody working under one roof. Since we began working with Luis our connection has been great. Now he takes on a much more key role in the team but the decision was an easy one given his knowledge and his way of doing things. It is the best decision we could make.”