Pedro de la Rosa was officially presented as an HRT F1 Team driver today. The presentation took part at the "Consejo Superior de Deportes" in Madrid and was attended by Saul Ruiz de Marcos (HRT F1 Team, CEO), Luis Perez-Sala (HRT F1 Team, Sports Advisor), Carlos Gracia (Real Federacion Espanola de Automovilismo, President) and Matilde Garcia (CSD, General Director).
"This is a very special day," said de la Rosa, "and I'm very happy to be in the company of, not only Luis and Saul as representatives of HRT, but also Carlos Gracia and Matilde Garcia, who are the maximum representatives of two organizations that have backed me since I started my career. Returning to the active competition is something that makes me very happy and even more so to do it with a Spanish team. The first time we spoke in July I didn't see myself as part of this project. However, meeting Saul and the fact that Luis, one of my idols, is part of the team, finding out more about the project and to see that, little by little, what they told me was materialising is what convinced me. I said to myself, I have to be there! It's a huge task but also a fascinating and meditated one. We know that it's not going to be easy but I'm going to contribute work, experience and effort to grow together. And I hope that we can receive everyone's support so that in the near future we can feel proud of ourselves. I've come to stay and I want to thank HRT for trusting in me, but also Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes because without them I wouldn't be here and thanks to them, today I am a better driver."
"I'm very excited to have been able to announce Pedro as an HRT driver," added Saul Ruiz de Marcos, HRT F1 Team CEO. "Since we arrived a few months ago, one of the pillars upon which we wanted to base the project was having Pedro on the team. From day one we got straight down to work to try and convince him and after four months of negotiations I am very proud to have achieved it. We are on the right path, taking every step at a time and turning the project we had in mind at the beginning into reality. We are working discretely, with humility and analysis and every decision made has been premeditated to ensure that it is correct. I think we are on the right track to becoming a great Spanish team in one year's time."
"We joined this project back in August," continued Luis Perez-Sala, "and tried to convince Pedro to come on board from day one. It wasn't easy as he was very happy at Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes but, in the end, he's decided to join us and I'm very proud to have him on our team for the next two years. When we took on this project in August, we thought that it was necessary to define a strategy and set some solid bases and Pedro was a key factor for this project to be viable. He is a driver with a lot of talent and his experience of over 12 years in F1 will help us to grow in the right path."
"Today is a very important day for Spanish sport and for motorsport in general," said Carlos Gracia, RFEdA president. "First of all, I would like to thank Saul, Luis, Matilde and, above all, Pedro. I believe that our nation's sport is going through different phases and this project which we are presenting today is a new one. From the RFEdA we fully support HRT, a team that is here to stay and that we all want to see grow and consolidate itself. Pedro is my friend and my passion, a home grown product that I'm terribly proud of. I'm sure that HRT have got it right signing Pedro, because with him the team's credibility will grow."
Our picture shows de la Rosa together with Carlos Gracia and Matilde Garcia.