Adrian Campos says he lived through the worst nightmare of his life before the future of his Formula 1 team was secured.
Campos gained an entry to compete in grand prix racing this season, but the project was only saved by an eleventh-hour deal with Colin Kolles, who became the team's managing director after Spanish businessman Jose Ramon Carabante bought the majority stake from Campos.
Former grand prix driver Campos is staying at the team as executive vice president. The Spaniard admitted it had been a very hard time for him, but said the team was fully prepared to travel to Bahrain when Kolles stepped in.
"All I can say is that it has been a few months in which, after taking the step that was needed after winning all the championships, I have lived the worst nightmare of my life," Campos told Onda Cero radio on Thursday evening. "It has been very, very tough, but what's clear is that everything was ready because otherwise in three days they wouldn't have made it."
Campos admitted that the team would have been better off not running at Bahrain with its untested Dallara, but said the team was obliged to race "to protect its entry."
"We had to go to Bahrain to have no problem with the [team] entry," said Campos, who admitted that the team ran the risk of looking "ridiculous" due to its lack of preparation time. "Our objective is just to do what we can," he added, but noted that HRT still has a lot to take pride in by being there.
"If you look at the Americans, US F1, they had a wonderful factory but no car and they won't be in Bahrain," Campos said. "There are a lot of people who have spent a lot of money, and whoever planned that must feel responsible.
"I admit there was a moment when we were completely blocked and I told Bernie that I didn't have the strength to carry on because it was a nightmare with all the pressure that we were under. Fortunately, Kolles arrived with the solution, and fortunately, Jose Ramon Carabante decided to invest more money to make viable a project that was ready."
Campos said Kolles originally wanted to move the team to Germany, and that despite some critical comments about the state of the team when he joined, the Spanish outfit was ready to travel to Bahrain.
"Colin wanted to take the team to Germany and in that moment he made some unfortunate comments," said Campos. "When he arrived he saw the workshop where we had everything ready for the arrival of the cars and the equipment, but, of course, the cars were in Italy, and so were the trucks and the equipment, that was ready to be shipped to Bahrain."
Campos, who has not traveled to Bahrain because of a broken foot, said that without the financial problems, the team, now known as Hispania Racing, would have been the surprise of the year: "If we could have kept the schedule of payments as it was expected, the car would have been on track on Jan. 15 and we could have been, as I thought but didn't say, the surprise of the season."