Today was an important day for HRT who were visited by FIA President Jean Todt at their brand new facility at the Caja Magica in Madrid. Guided by the team's CEO, Saul Ruiz de Marcos, and Team Principal, Luis Perez-Sala, Todt visited the entire factor from the management area to the workshop where the mechanics were working on the F112 for the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix, passing through the administration, operations and engineering areas.
Todt was also guided on his visit by Pedro Martinez de la Rosa, Dani Clos and Ma Qing Hua, who accompanied him during the tour and, once they arrived at the workshop, explained the main upgrades for the race in Barcelona and the work carried out by the team in recent months.
Todt was joined by the President of the Spanish Motorsport Federation and Vice-President of the FIA, Carlos Gracia, who had already visited the facility a few days ago, and Vice-President of the Spanish Motorsport Federation, Joaquin Verdegay, the President and Vice-President of the RACE, Carmelo Sanz and Andres Celaya, and the President of the RACC, Sebastia Salvado.
Also present was Rosario Alessi, President of the FIA Academy, who, along with Todt, is in Madrid to hand the FIA Academy gold medal to His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain.
"I'm happy to be in Spain today because we are going to give a special award to the King Juan Carlos I. But also because today I've got a great opportunity to visit HRT Formula 1 Team's beautiful and new facilities alongside my friends from the Spanish Motorsport Federation, the RACE and the RACC," said Todt. "The facilities are impressive, modern and functional. You can see that everything is brand new and it will be even better once they've spent a couple of months there working. I wish the best for the future of HRT".
"It is the second time I visit the headquarters," added Carlos Gracia. "I made a brief first visit and the second time round I've liked them even more and I'm sure that the third time round it will be even better because this team is doing a fantastic job and are taking giant strides. I think that the facilities are wonderful and that they send an image out of what HRT Formula 1 Team is going to be in the short, medium and long term. It's important to have the headquarters in Spain and for the team to become more Spanish and hand out opportunities to young mechanics, drivers and engineers from this country. We're aware that in a Formula 1 team you need to have the best people from the best countries but to have a Spanish base is important looking ahead to the future".
"We're very thankful towards Jean Todt for having the courtesy of coming to visit us and we're delighted to have received him and shown him the new facilities," said Luis Perez-Sala. "It was important for him to come and see it personally because on the track all you can see are the cars. You can explain everything that's behind the scenes but nothing compares to seeing it and experiencing it firsthand to understand the work that is being done. It also gives a chance to explain him the team's current project and plans to grow in the future. That growth that we're currently experiencing and will continue to do so is what, with time, will translate into an improvement on the track. I also want to thank the rest of the FIA members, Carlos Gracia and the Spanish Federation, the RACC and the RACE for joining us and I'm very proud that they are also a part of this."