Narain Karthikeyan, HRT F1 TEAM


Free practice sessions at the Monaco Grand Prix

Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo

Thursday, 24th of May 2012

Weather FP1: Sunny – Air 23ºC, Track 33ºC / Weather FP2: Rainy – Air 24ºC, Track 31ºC


Pedro de la Rosa     F112-02 #22 23rd (15 laps) 1:22.423

Narain Karthikeyan F112-03 #2320th (26 laps) 1:20.838


Pedro de la Rosa     F112-02 #22 23rd (12 laps)1:20.631

Narain Karthikeyan  F112-03 #23 24th (10 laps)1:20.886

The legendary Monaco Grand Prix got underway today with the first two free practice sessions which took place in very different conditions. The sun shone in the morning and both Narain Karthikeyan and Pedro de la Rosa were able to complete a large amount of the planned programme. For the Indian driver this was to do as many laps as possible with the upgrades for this Grand Prix, whilst the Spaniard drove with a basic set-up to incorporate the upgrades in the afternoon session and thereby carry out an adequate comparison.

Threatening clouds lurked over the start of the afternoon session and let loose just 30 minutes into it. At such a treacherous circuit as Monaco, the team was cautious and decided to put an end to the session prematurely as the weather didn’t clear up. However, the feeling improved in the afternoon from the morning and the mood is positive ahead of the important sessions on Saturday.

Pedro de la Rosa: “Today has been a really strange day because, out of the three hours which we normally have, I only completed two stints. I wasn’t able to make the most out of the other two. In the morning I encountered a cloud of smoke in the tunnel and a red flag, and in the afternoon it started to rain. So it was a productive day taking into account the little track time we had, and all the changes we incorporated in the afternoon supposed an important improvement. The truth is I would have liked to have done more laps, more than anything because at this circuit the more laps you do, the better. Looking to Saturday, our aim is to continue improving the car and try to qualify a little bit further ahead. It’s a difficult task here but not an impossible one”.

Narain Karthikeyan: “We did a lot of laps in the morning and were able to try various different things on the car. We had a pretty decent balance and wanted to go one step further in the afternoon but conditions weren’t great and you couldn’t drive to the limit. Unfortunately we were unable to make the most of our track time as we would have liked but we didn’t want to risk going out in the rain and opted to stay in the garage. Things are looking promising for Saturday where we hope to encounter dry conditions to help us achieve a good result”.

Luis Pérez-Sala, Team Principal: “The practice sessions went well today although we would have liked to have made more of our time but the rain didn’t allow us. But it’s the same for everyone. I’m satisfied because the car went well this morning, especially the brakes and temperature, which are perhaps our weakest points in high temperatures. Besides, we were comfortably within the 107% with the same tyres and that’s positive. In the afternoon we preferred to be cautious since the conditions weren’t the best. This is a delicate circuit, where you never know what will happen, but overall I’m satisfied with how the day developed and the work done by the team and drivers”.