Madrid: Former Formula One driver Luis Perez-Sala was Thursday appointed the team principal of Hispania Racing Team (HRT) after the exit of Collin Kolles, who was part of the Spanish outfit since the start of the 2010 season.
Perez-Sala was already working as a sporting advisor for HRT. The 52-year-old raced for Minardi alongside Adrian Campos in the 1988-89 season, having 32 starts to his name with his best finish coming in the 1989 British Grand Prix where he came sixth.
The team has also announced Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa as one of two drivers for 2012 season beginning in Australia March 18.
HRT CEO Saúl Ruiz de Marcos said: "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 said it was an honour to head his native team.
"This naming is an honour 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 must not 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," he said.
Thesan Capital, a Madrid-based investment company, became the new owners of the team in July 2011.
HRT finished 11th in the 2011 Constructors' Championship.