Former Formula 1 driver Luis Perez-Sala will take on the role of team principal at HRT following the exit of Colin Kolles, the Spanish team has said.
HRT confirmed on Wednesday that Kolles would leave the team today after having occupied that position since the start of 2010. Perez-Sala, who competed in Formula 1 with Minardi in 1988 and 1989, had joined the team as an advisor in July this year.
"From the moment we took control of the team last July, the first thing we did was to study and value where we were, while also setting ourselves a target and establishing a strategy," said HRT CEO Saul Ruiz de Marcos. "We have been working discretely but relentlessly toward 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 [de la Rosa] 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 (Perez-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."
Perez-Sala added: "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."
The team has signed Pedro de la Rosa as its first driver for 2012, with the second one yet to be named. Spanish driver Jaime Alguersuari, who was cut loose by Scuderia Toro Rosso yesterday in a surprising move, would appear to be the likely choice for the second seat.