(Elconfidencial.com) Luis Perez Sala is one of the few members of HRT that is already installed in the Magic Box, the new clubhouse. During the next few weeks will gradually concentrating the remaining staff. In one of the rare moments of respite from the heavy workload borne for a month of madness, the ‘Home Team’ of HRT has talked with him about the exciting period Confidential lived this last week to face the start of the championship 2012.
How have you experienced the whirlwind of this month in HRT and how it has been personally Luis Perez Sala?
It was very hard. Had to start a championship and finish the car almost at once. We have done everything in a month, passing the crash test, finish the car, going to Melbourne, including parts were getting the same Thursday there … already be in Australia was a triumph. After at least got the satisfaction of have qualified, finishing the race than we had planned. Eventually the team was physically exhausted. Now at least we have a week to recover and people we deal with what comes another claw.
Yes, many, I’ve been many. For example, failure to overcome all the crash tests to the first, which is otherwise normal, but over time just as we were going with the delayed and the margin of error was diminishing. This was the first time hard, pass all crash tests in time to be in Australia. Another moment was the end of the car to load everything on time and send it to the first race. With the assembly of the second car was the same, because the pieces were coming in dribs and drabs. Then it was to see how the car rolled to fall within the 107%.
Why not arrive in time the car? Were there problems with suppliers, or tripping of the past?
The problem was responsible for this project was gone. Complete the design, order and manufacture the parts was a fairly complex project. And produce it too, because you have to order from the chassis and the wings to the last washer. And in this process, yet the change in the team by the way, was very difficult. ¿Tripping? Challenges yes, but tripping, no.
The current car, the F112, is a good project car or a commitment under the circumstances and the available budget?
It’s a car yet to discover. For example, is designed to carry kers but we will not ride in the short term, we think this year we’re going to ride. So, in this aspect, is not perfect. Right now, the car is assembled in a hurry, you have to improve little by little, as the team is being created, we are applying offs. The next private testing at Mugello, just around Bahrain, will be very important to us.
What are the key lessons he has learned to HRT initial experience with this?
The first, keep calm. Because the biggest problem was the tension of a month that time is against you. The key was to finish the project have the car ready. The two cars, come on.
And how the pilots reacted? A Martinez de la Rosa has noticed the tension at times
I am very happy with Peter and Narain. It was very difficult for them. Karthikeyan could not shoot anything in Melbourne had many problems. Never had a bad face. Peter could only prove the former to have some reference. Then in Australia saw how car while riding his shot in the other track. The attitude is much appreciated both despite the problems.
After this initial flurry, more calmly, what will happen to HRT from now?
Right now we are installing at the Magic Box and after Bahrain and have the cars here. From the Grand Prix of Spain the team will begin to function more effective and coordinated manner. In China and Bahrain will continue to improve things in the car and the team, but this is a slow process that will last all year, we will evolve slowly, although perhaps not notice much performance.
Are there options to reach Marussia, for example?
We are far, during the season we will see as we progress. Is that this is very difficult to explain, today is the day I’m sitting in the Magic Box. Some people are in Valencia yet, other team members are in Germany, England … The cars are flying to China, we must address issues of reliability and not just performance.
What is the perception that the paddock of Formula 1 is on HRT?
It may not be seen, or not being aware of all the change has been the computer. There are still things that we are not last year’s level by these changes, such as tire changes, where we have to improve a lot. We have done tests, training … Therefore, may not appreciate the great change that has occurred.
What Bernie Ecclestone said something about the situation of HRT? Have you given any advice?
I think he is quiet, we have not had any problem, is what has given to us, it is quiet.
Luis Perez Sala and HRT are present in the negotiations to renew the Concorde Agreement, the agreement governing the economic future of Formula 1. How is the situation, and how it affects the team?
This is the year you have to close the deal. Everyone is on their side, there are teams that are more advanced than others, negotiations are still in the beginning for us as well.
What are the objectives raised by the end of the year for HRT?
I’d be happy with the end of the year a team that works in concert, have a reliable car, we are around 105% of the pole and we have a small team to develop the car.
What message would throw him and follows him to HRT in Spain, what to expect Spanish public opinion of a team that, at present, is in line?
Well I would say that although we are back in the rankings, be patient. Week after week we go consolidating, and we look with hindsight. We do not want to be back, but it’s better to be part of Formula 1 to the contrary, they are only twelve teams that are present. This is a work of years, we are starting now for us is like the first year.
From his experience as a Formula 1 driver in the late eighties to the present time as “Team Principal”, what have you learned Perez Sala?
Well, as a pilot you live better (laughs). It has nothing to do. A team’s management and with many people. Struggles against good people. To keep up with the best takes hard work and well done. The hardest thing is, I believe, have the means and the quiet time to get closer to the top. And being closer, it involves people you have a permit because it is not just about spending money. Most importantly, be efficient with the budget you have to make the most of what you have. This happens in any company, but in Formula 1 you are reviewing each week.
Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull, what catches the attention of the best
The preparation you have, the level at which care as fine details. You look in any detail how to win something, do not give a stitch without thread to reach that level. For example, see tire changes and car or stops, you do not even realize many things. What surprises me most is the level of attention paid to anything. Even when traveling even.
From your current perspective and the strong presence of Spanish players, what value can be F1 for so battered image of Spain?
Fernando (Alonso) is the one who has changed the perception people have of the Formula 1 within and outside Spain to Spain. Thanks to Fernando has gone from being a minority sport one of the most commonly following media level. HRT has been the slipstream, and if it does a good job, it is also a site more interesting for the fans. I think that Formula 1 is very valuable for Spain. You have to be and giving good image. Although there is a classification and do not be among the first, is a privilege to be. Formula 1 is a platform that will walk you around the world, you see, you will open up markets. It is a platform for everyone you know. I see it as something very positive for Spain.
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