FIA President Jean Todt made a special appearance yesterday to the HRT F1 team’s new factory at Madrid’s Caja Mágica facility. The Frenchman was accompanied by Carlos Gracia, Vice President of the FIA, and given a tour of the Spanish team’s new headquarters.
Also accompanying the dignitaries on the tour were lead driver Pedro de la Rosa, reserve driver Dani Close and young development driver Ma Qing Hua.
Despite the team have undergone several changes of ownership since its Formula 1 debut in 2010, its technical and manufacturing headquarters have always been in Germany, while it also held an administrative base in the Spanish town of Murcia.
When Jose Ramón Carabante’s group sold the team to Thesan Capital last year, one of the new owners’ main goals was centralise its entire operation in Spain.
Initially, the team had hoped to base itself in the city of Valencia, before opting to take up space at Caja Mágica, a facility better known for its association with tennis.
The team has spent the weeks between the Bahrain Grand Prix and the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix – the first of two ‘home’ races for the team – finalising its relocation to its new headquarters, in lieu of attending the year’s only in-season test at Mugello.
“Today I’ve [had] a great opportunity to visit HRT’s beautiful and new facilities. They are impressive, modern and functional,” Todt said, following his visit.
“You can see that everything is brand-new and it will be even better once they’ve spent a couple of months working on it. I wish HRT all the best for the future.”