Free practice sessions at the Chinese Grand Prix

Shanghai International Circuit
Friday, 13th of April 2012

Weather: Cloudy – Air 15ºC, Track 16ºC
Pedro de la RosaF112-02 #22 21st (10 laps) 1’44.227
Narain Karthikeyan F112-01 #2323rd (12 laps) 1’47.204
Pedro de la Rosa F112-02 #22 22nd (25 laps)1’40.343
Narain Karthikeyan F112-01 #23 24th (26 laps)1’41.125
The third event of the season got underway today with the first day of free practice sessions at the Shanghai International Circuit (5.451km). The conditions were complicated in the first session as the circuit was damp first thing in the morning after last night’s rain which returned halfway through the morning session, which prevented the team from running much and extracting conclusions. The afternoon session developed with normality, enabling work on the F112’s set-up.
After the two-week break, today was all about getting in touch with the car and the circuit firstly before working on optimizing the race set-up. At the end of the day both drivers were satisfied with how things progressed although they expect to take one step further tomorrow.
De la Rosa and Karthikeyan finished the day in 22nd and 24th position with a total of 35 and 38 laps respectively whilst improving the morning’s lap times notably.
Pedro de la Rosa: “The day started with a strange morning session as a result of the weather conditions, but it was the same for everyone. However, the afternoon session went well where we were able to try out various set-up options and adjustments that enabled us to improve the balance of the car both with medium and soft tyres. We were able to complete the scheduled programme but tomorrow we should progress a bit. We definitely felt an improvement with respect to the Malaysian Grand Prix and the team is also working better together, but we still have a lot of work to do”.
Narain Karthikeyan: “The weather wasn’t favourable for us in free practice one and it meant that we didn’t get any proper running done. I had a few problems in the morning session but the afternoon, where we tried a few different adjustments, was fine. We have a few things to look at tomorrow, especially on the braking side, but apart from that everything went well. We have to improve and we will do that. Tomorrow’s practice three will be more representative of where we are”.
Luis Pérez-Sala, Team Principal: “Since we arrived in China, the feeling we’ve had has been one of more normality than what we experienced in the first two races and that is positive. We’ve been working like any other team and we’re following the normal routine of a weekend. Yesterday we worked on the car and pit stops and today the drivers went out to the track trouble-free and practiced their starts. The team is much more coordinated and things are going according to plan and that is very important. We’re still a little bit off where we aim to be but everyday we’re one step closer”.