Perez Sala, who took on his role during the winter, feels simply being at Melbourne's Albert Park is "a success" despite a tough opening day of the new campaign.
HRT arrived in Australia with no pre-season testing under their belt for the new car, other than 10 laps at a promotional filming session covered by Narain Karthikeyan 10 days ago.
Karthikeyan's first quick lap today in first free practice ended with the engine cutting out due to a fuel pressure issue, and although he managed 16 laps in a rain-hit FP2, he finished 13.5 seconds off the pace.
Team-mate Pedro de la Rosa's car passed scrutineering at the 11th hour, but only managed one installation lap in FP2 as the team attempted to ready the car.
Describing the difficulties in getting to Australia, Perez Sala said: "It has been very tough.
"We missed the crash tests at the beginning of February, and then until the end of that month we worked on trying to pass them.
"Then once we did that we had a filming day in Barcelona. Here we worked the whole night last night [Thursday] to have the second car ready."
Renowned as a team that has struggled for resources throughout its two seasons so far in F1, under the Hispania name, Perez Sala was asked whether HRT had the finances to see out the year.
"I'm confident we can reach the end of the season and confident of the money," said Perez Sala.
Given F1's 107% rule in qualifying, which means all teams need to be on a fast pace, looking ahead to the prospect of being on the grid on Sunday, Perez Sala added: "It will be difficult for us.
"I'm not even thinking now about the speed of the cars, only of the things to make us as good as possible so we can do several laps in FP3.
"Then we will see about qualifying, but here it is about taking the information from the cars and to go forward for the next few races.
"The most important thing is to be here, as we are, and then to learn as much as possible.
"But the team is quite tired after all the hard work they've put in over the last month. I'd like them to relax a bit.
"Then in Malaysia and Shanghai I would like us to improve our pace."