Luis Pérez-Sala, appointed as new Team Principal of HRT F1 Team
Spanish former Formula 1 driver Luis Pérez-Sala (Barcelona, 15th on May 1959) takes on, as of today, the role of Team Principal of HRT F1 Team after the exit of the head sporting figure from the Spanish team.
With the naming of Luis Pérez-Sala at the fore of the team, HRT F1 Team closes one chapter and begins a new one, which will hopefully come with new successes and satisfactions. Having Pedro de la Rosa at the helm, headquarters in Spain and the design of next season’s car being carried out internally, this is an exciting project although there is still much work to do before the 2012 season begins in Australia on the 18th of March.
Saúl Ruiz de Marcos, HRT F1 Team CEO: “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 (Pérez-Sala) 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. I would like to also thank Colin (Kolles) and Manfredi (Ravetto) for their work and dedication in these two years that the team has existed and I wish them the very best for the future”.
Luis Pérez-Sala, Team Principal of HRT F1 Team: “This naming is an honor but also a great responsibility. I joined the team as an advisor to the new owners and to contribute with my experience in any possible way. 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 honor, means a greater development to the structure and everything surrounding it”.
Luis Pérez-Sala profile
Luis Pérez-Sala was born in Barcelona on the 15th of May of 1959. He made his first steps in motorsport in karting and in 1980 he won the Spanish Renault Cup. The following year, alongside Luis Villamil, Pérez-Sala won the 2 hours Renault 5. In 1983 he began to compete on the international stage in the Alfasud Sprint Cup and one year later he competed in Formula 3 as a part of team Campsa. From there he moved onto F3000 where he was runner-up in 1987 and one year later, in 1988, he made the definitive step into Formula 1 with Minardi. He completed two whole seasons with the Italian outfit and achieved his best result at the 1989 British Grand Prix where he finished in sixth place, helping him to score one point in Formula 1. In his first season with Minardi, Luis teamed up alongside Adrián Campos making it the first time ever that two Spanish drivers coincided in a same Formula 1 team.
After abandoning the pinnacle of motorsport, Luis returned to Spain to compete in the national touring car championships. He won the Spanish touring car championships in 1991 and 1993 and finished runner-up at the 1999 Lamborghini Europa Trophy. In 2000 he took the 24 hours of Barcelona title in the diesel category and in 2003 and 2004 he won the Spanish GTB Cup alongside Manel Cerqueda. In 2005 he won the 24 hours of Barcelona once again, but this time in the main category and the following year he ended in second. In 2008 he was runner-up in the Spanish GT championship and won the Trofeo Ibérico along with Manel Cerqueda Jr. in what would be his final season before retiring.
Since 1990 he combined his sporting career with work as a lecturer, commentator and technical analyst for different media channels (RTVE, El País, TV3, Grand Prix, etc.). He is also specialized in all kinds of instruction and formation courses related with technical motorsport formation on tracks for competition drivers, and he is also a part of the Joves Pilots del Circuit de Catalunya program. A program backed by the Generalitat of Catalunya, the Circuit de Catalunya, the RACC and the Catalan Motorsport Federation and that in the 2011 season has backed four drivers: Daniel Juncadella (F3 Euroseries) who recently became the first Spanish driver to ever win at the prestigious F3 Macau Grand Prix, Víctor Colomé (French F4 Championships), Gerard Barrabeig (European and Italian F-Abarth) and Álex Riberas (Eurocup FR 2.0). Other drivers such as Jaime Alguersuari, Miquel Molina (DTM), Dani Clos (GP2), Albert Costa (Formula Renault 3.5) and Miki Monr&aa cute;s (Formula 2) have also gone through the program in previous seasons.
In July of 2011, Pérez-Sala returned to Formula 1 as a sporting advisor to HRT F1 Team where he is now the head sporting figure after being named Team Principal.