F1 – 2012 Chinese Grand Prix Qualifying – HRT F1 Team
Narain Karthikeyan, HRT Formula One Team
Free Practice 3 and Qualifying Chinese Grand Prix
Good sensations at HRT Formula 1 Team after the second day at the Chinese Grand Prix which took place today at the Shanghai International Circuit with Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan qualifying comfortably for tomorrows race. The set-up adjustments which were made to the car yesterday didnt give the best result this morning on the track but, as the weather was more stable, the team was able to work on the set-up of the cars for the definitive qualifying session in the afternoon. Once they took to the track, the drivers felt a substantial improvement in the balance of the car which allowed them to make the most of both sets of soft tyres. De la Rosa and Karthikeyan finished 23rd and 24th respectively and face tomorrows 56-lap race with the objective of taking both F112s past the finish line once again and continuing to gather vital data for the development of the car.
Pedro de la Rosa: “I think it was, by far, our best qualifying session to date. Ive already said many times that weve got a lot of room for improvement, but the important thing is that weve cut down the distance with regards to pole position considerably, some four seconds from first, and thats very positive for us. Were bringing the difference down and, although were not going to stop here, weve taken a step forward, so Im very happy. In this qualifying session weve made various changes to the set-up and the car responded well and, even though this morning there was no way of making the car turn well, in the afternoon, once I got in I felt the car was better. Tomorrow we hope to fight, as we did in Malaysia and if we can finish a little bit higher, then even better.
Narain Karthikeyan: “In the morning we had some trouble with the suspension but we got it fixed in time for the afternoon. In qualifying I got blocked on my first lap and didnt clock a good time on the first set of tyres. On the second set I made a flatspot, so thats the reason I didnt do so well, but nevertheless were comfortably inside the 107% and thats important. Tomorrow if it rains during the race that will benefit us, if not well have to try and do the best we can. The target once again is to achieve mileage and Im confident that the car should be able to make it through the whole distance.
Toni Cuquerella, Technical Director: “Were satisfied with todays result and, in general, with the work the team and drivers put in which, added to the upgrades weve brought to this Grand Prix, have enabled us to qualify comfortably inside the 107%. In fact, the better of the two cars is at a 104.4%. Were functioning as a team, with normality and without major problems and that in itself is satisfying and proves that were starting to be at the level which we should have been at the start of the season. From here we have to continue improving as our rivals arent far away. Tomorrows objective is to finish with both cars and for the performance shown in qualifying to translate into the race also.