United States GP: Pedro de la Rosa unfazed by HRT problems
By Berthold Bouman
HRT driver Pedro de la Rosa is apparently unfazed by the news that his team was put up for sale by owner Thesan Capital, a Spanish investment company. The Spanish outfit is for sale for 40 million Euro, if the team can’t find a buyer before December 2, it could be all over, there have been rumours part of the staff has already been dismissed.
Quizzed during today’s FIA press conference at the Circuit of the Americas about the situation with HRT, de la Rosa said, “Well, unfortunately there’s not much I can say really. It’s a corporate decision, which I’m not involved in.”
But he assured his fans he will do everything he can during the final two races of the season, “All I can say is, we are here, that there are two Grands Prix to go and no matter what’s going on in the background, we will give it 100 per cent like we’ve always done.
“No matter in which position we fight and who we fight against we will do a professional job. We are here to do that and there are two very interesting Grands Prix left. Hopefully there’s some more retirements than in the last few races, even more and we can achieve a good result.”
Spanish media yesterday reported there were growing concerns about safety issues related to the lack of personnel and lack of spare parts, but when asked about it de la Rosa said, “It’s something that I’m not aware of and it’s the first news comes from you. All I can say is that we might be modest, we are small and we are what we are — but we are a professional Formula One team and for sure when we start running it’s because the car is safe.”
“I’m experienced enough to … you know, I would never jump into an unsafe car because of parts being too old. So no, the answer is, the car is slow but it’s safe.”
Regardless of his team’s financial problems, the Spaniard was enthusiastic about the brand-new circuit, “I’ve just been doing a lap, just walking around [referring to the traditional track walk on Thursday morning].
“I don’t know much apart from this lap. It looks fantastic … a very difficult track, with very big gradient changes and very challenging because most of the corners, the apexes are blind. So let’s see tomorrow, but it’s one of those tracks that you can say it’s going to be difficult and challenging.”
Meanwhile, HRT has announced in a press statement Chinese driver Ma Qing Hua will be taking over Narain Karthikeyan’s car during the first free practice session tomorrow morning, which has fuelled the speculations he might have found sufficient Chinese financial backing to get a race seat at HRT next year, if the team survives that is.