HRT sign Clos for test driver role
Last Updated: 15/02/12 9:06pm
HRT have announced the signing of young Spanish GP2 race winner Dani Clos as their test driver for the 2012 season.
Barcelona-born Clos has spent the last three seasons competing in Formula 1's feeder series and first tested for HRT in the young driver sessions at the end of last season.
HRT have confirmed the 23-year-old will take part in "several" Friday morning practice sessions and travel to all 20 grands prix during the course of the season, with his first official appearance with the team coming at the third and final pre-season test in Barcelona next month.
Clos, whose debut F1 test came with Williams in 2008, expressed his delight at the deal and is particularly pleased to be joining the team at a time when they are increasing their Spanish identity.
"I'm very proud to be a part of HRT Formula 1 Team. It is a great step in my career, something that I have dreamt of all my life and, finally, my dream is starting to come true," he said.
"I'm very impressed with the job the team is doing; they're achieving fantastic things in a short space of time. The team has changed a lot since we met in the Abu Dhabi tests and I think it's a great opportunity and an honor to form a part of this new team.
"What they're achieving is very important for motorsport in our country and has a lot of potential. Also, being alongside Pedro de la Rosa is very important for me, since he and Karthikeyan can positively contribute to me becoming a better driver. I want to thank Saúl Ruíz de Marcos and Luis Pérez-Sala for the trust they've shown in me from the start and, above all, I would like to thank the people who have always been by my side, such as Leonardo Soldevila and my father.
"For me a new chapter is beginning, one where hard work and dedication are going to be my priorities; I'm going to give it my all so that this phase is as successful as it can possibly be for the team, my teammates and myself."
New HRT team principal Luis Pérez-Sala, who replaced Colin Kolles in the role over the winter, says the squad are keen to give chances to promising young driving talent.
"I'm very happy to have Dani on the team," he said.
"He's a quick, talented driver who, above all, is very willing to progress. The incorporation of Clos is another step in our project of restructuring HRT but also fits in with our desire to promote young motorsport talents. I'm sure that it will be a very positive experience for both parties."