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Korean Grand Prix Practice – HRT F1 Team

Korea International Circuit, Korea
Friday, 14th of October 2011
Maximum temperature: Air 18ºC, Track 18ºC – Wet

Narain Karthikeyan F111-002 #23 15th (14 laps) 2:08.832
Daniel Ricciardo F111-003 #22 16th (14 laps) 2:09.232

Vitantonio Liuzzi F111-002 #23 24th (20 laps) 2:00.165
Daniel Ricciardo F111-003 #22 23rd (19 laps) 1:59.958

Rain has been the order of the day at the 16th Grand Prix of the Formula 1 World Championship which got underway today at the Korea International Circuit. In the first practice session, Narain Karthikeyan and Daniel Ricciardo worked on the F111’s set-up. Although both were making their debut at the 5.615km track, they did a good job on extreme wet tyres to finish in 15th and 16th place respectively. The rain kept on falling during the afternoon, albeit not as strong, which made it seem that the track would eventually dry up towards the end of the second session. But this would not be the case. Ricciardo and Vitantonio Liuzzi, who returned to the cockpit of car #23, drove almost the entire session with intermediate tyres and tried out dry-weather tyres towards the end of the session. However, the track wasn’t dry enough and they were not able to set their best times.

Narain Karthikeyan: “I had never driven in Korea before and having to do so in such foul weather conditions was not ideal. This won’t help me much with my preparation for the Indian Grand Prix, because it will surely be dry out there, but, nevertheless, it has been positive to be able to gather some data on wet conditions and I hope that helped the team out a little. Overall, I’m satisfied with the job done today”.

Vitantonio Liuzzi: “The track conditions were pretty difficult but also last year struggled to dry up. The slow speed corners were the worst. In the end we did some laps with intermediate tyres but it was too dry for them and too wet for slicks. I didn’t drive in the morning so I had to try and find some rhythm despite the conditions. We got some valid information but not much regarding the balance; tomorrow is going to be like a Friday session again”.

Daniel Ricciardo: “Today was very wet but that’s not bad because I need some experience in wet conditions. But we are expecting the weekend to be dry so maybe today doesn’t mean much for the rest of the GP. For us it probably means a bit more work tomorrow, trying to find the best set-up quickly and efficiently and then I have to learn the circuit in the dry as fast as possible. It was a good day overall as we got quite a few laps in. It’s hard to predict how the weekend will go but we will see what tomorrow brings”.

Colin Kolles, Team Principal: “We were expecting rain for today and were ready for it. However, we were not expecting the track to take so long to dry out. Considering it was their first time here, Narain and Daniel did a good job in the morning. It wasn’t raining that much in the afternoon and we were hoping for some dry laps towards the end that we didn’t finally have. There is no rain expected for tomorrow and we will have to start from zero, but it is the same for everybody”.