Pedro de la Rosa on Thursday denied there are fears his HRT car is unsafe.
Amid the struggling Spanish team’s push for survival, it was reported in Spain this week that engineers fear a lack of resources has contributed to worrying technical failures at recent races.
“All I can say is that we might be modest, we are small and we are what we are, but we are a professional formula one team and for sure when we start running it’s because the car is safe,” veteran driver de la Rosa said in Austin.
“I would never jump into an unsafe car because of parts being too old. So no, the answer is the car is slow but it’s safe,” he insisted.
Spanish media sources, however, continue to insist that staff are being laid off and the entire workforce will be dismissed on December 2 if urgent investment is not found.
Narain Karthikeyan, de la Rosa’s teammate, admits he is worried.
“Everything has turned on its head in the last 24-48 hours as you can imagine,” he told the Times of India.
“I may be forced to look beyond F1 now so looks like it is going to be a very busy off-season,” added Karthikeyan.
He caused a big accident involving Nico Rosberg in Abu Dhabi recently when, in the middle of a fast corner, he braked when his steering suddenly failed.
“Everyone knows that motor sport is risky business and you sign up for that the moment you take up racing as a career,” said Karthikeyan.
“But that doesn’t mean I am looking for any extra risks in that respect.
“The fact is, if it is apparent that there is an issue and something isn’t right then I will be the first one to put my hand up and say that I can’t go ahead with this.
“But as of now things look ok and hopefully we’ll complete the remaining two races without any unpleasant surprises,” he added.
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