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Indian Grand Prix Qualifying – HRT F1 Team

Buddh International Circuit, India

29th of October, 2011

Maximum temperature: Air 31ºc, Track 38ºC – Sunny


Narain Karthikeyan   F111-002  #22   22nd (25 laps)   1:30.900       

Daniel Ricciardo        F111-003  #23   24th    (16 laps)   1:33.246  


Narain Karthikeyan    F111-002 #22   22nd    (11 laps)    1:30.238  

Daniel Ricciardo         F111-003 #23   21st     (11 laps) 1:30.216

Today has been a positive second day at the Indian Grand Prix for HRT F1 Team who finished qualifying with its drivers, Daniel Ricciardo and Narain Karthikeyan, in 21st and 22nd place respectively. In the morning, practice session three started well for local idol Narain Karthikeyan and his teammate Daniel Ricciardo, with both of them finishing the session satisfied with the car’s set-up on the 5.125km track. However, a problem with the gearbox on Ricciardo’s car meant that the mechanics had to work relentlessly in the garage to get the Aussie’s car ready for qualifying. Both drivers completed a perfect qualifying session and clocked almost identical times, a satisfying battle which ended up being won by the Australian driver by 21 tenths and with both Virgin cars behind. Ricciardo and Karthikeyan received a 5 place penalty each, the first one because of the change to the gearbox and the second for impeding Schumacher in qualifying. 

Narain Karthikeyan: “We got the potential out of the car and beat both of the Virgins and I am proud of it. I was up on my teammate but made a small mistake. Nevertheless, I’m very happy with the way I drove and the position I achieved. I think this was the maximum that we could get and the team did a fantastic job to get us ahead of Virgin. It’s a fantastic sensation racing in front of my home crowd and for tomorrow I am aiming to finish in the best position possible”.

Daniel Ricciardo: “The position I achieved today was quite good, it’s one of our best finishes in qualifying this year ahead of our rivals. I was a fair way ahead of D’Ambrosio which is nice. In FP3 we had some issues and couldn’t do any preparations for qualifying, so we have to be very happy with the result. There are still a few things that we need to be on top of but we are always looking better for the race, I didn’t think qualifying would be our strong point so I’m looking forward to tomorrow where I hope to end up ahead of the cars I beat in qualifying today”.

Colin Kolles, Team Principal: “The track conditions were supposed to be better today and the third practice session started quite well. Narain and Daniel were doing an excellent job with the hard tyres and working on the cars’ set up for the race. The feeling was good and the improvements that we were hoping for today’s practice session were made. Narain also did well on the soft tyres but, unfortunately, Daniel had a gearbox problem at the late stages of the session that made us replace it for qualifying. Things worked perfectly in the garage and we managed to have everything ready just in time for an almost perfect qualifying session. Both drivers improved their times lap by lap. We could have gone quicker by putting the sectors together but beating both Virgins is satisfactory. It is a shame that both Narain and Daniel will have to start from the back of the grid after the 5 position penalty but I am confident that the two of them can have a good race tomorrow”.