HRT has confirmed that it has a new investor in the form of businessman Juan Villalonga, the former Telefonica boss who was behind that company’s move into F1 in the late nineties. There is now a clear push to emphasise the Spanish roots of the team.
Villalonga was named one of the world’s top 100 CEOs by the Harvard Business Review this year, and clearly his contacts book is of great value to the team, which has been given a hard time by Bernie Ecclestone in the media. However Villalonga has already met with Ecclestone to discuss his plans.
The team says that “as soon as the agreement was made, both parts said that their partnership has been established to reinforce the team, create and strengthen the project of the first ever Spanish Formula 1 team. The immediate aim, following the recently announced agreement with Williams F1, is to be able to have a much more competitive team.”
Team owner Jose Ramon Carabante said: “He has always felt, as I do, a clear passion for motorsport. We will substantially strengthen our ability to generate innovative activities in marketing and sponsorship with his incorporation. We will also be able to make the best of his leadership, knowledge and relationships in the fields of technology and communications, and therefore be able to fully exploit the opportunities we are given after this tough first year. This is a sum that multiplies and enhances our ability to grow as a team”.
Villalonga added: “Formula One is always associated with innovation, research and technology, and Hispania Racing must be represented on that level, with a stable leadership. The key is the quality and not the quantity of sponsors.”
Adam Cooper has revealed who HRT’s new backer is, lets see what becomes of this.