The media centre fell into sarcastic applause on Saturday when an HRT completed a flying lap.
Germany's Bild newspaper claims the entire paddock "is laughing at Hispania", whose cobbled-together F111 car failed to qualify in Melbourne and was refused special dispensation to race by the stewards.
But the Italian driver said HRT is not to be laughed at.
"But if you consider that our guys have been almost completely without sleep, it is more positive and even something to be proud of," added the Italian.
An unnamed team member admitted HRT's problems are financial.
"As we paid the suppliers, the parts began to appear," he said.
Some had to be taken to Australia by team members in suitcases, including team boss Colin Kolles whose own suitcase was rejected by the airline because it weighed too much.
It depends on your point of view.
So former F1 driver and German commentator Christian Danner put some of the parts in his own luggage.
"I had a little sympathy," he smiled to Bild newspaper.
Not everyone feels the same, however, including Spanish AS correspondent Raul Romojaro who has been highly critical of HRT.
"Just because I ride a bike with my friends on a Sunday doesn't mean I think I can ride in the next Tour on Contador's wheel," he wrote.
"I would be ridiculed for not understanding the magnitude of the challenge."