Monaco Grand Prix Preview

25th-27th May 2012

Circuit de Monaco – 78 laps – 3.340 km

Madrid, 21st of May 2012

The Formula 1 World Championship arrives at one of the most special dates on the calendar because the history, glamour and originality that surround the Monaco Grand Prix make this race a pure spectacle. This year there will be an even more festive atmosphere as it’s the 70th edition of the race. 43 different drivers have come away with the winner’s trophy since Englishman William Grover-Williams crossed the finish line first with his Bugatti in 1929 and many will attempt to get their name on that coveted roll of honour this year. HRT Formula 1 Team attends the Principality after having lived a very emotional week in Barcelona in front of its home fans and with its drivers, Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan, very motivated to continue working and progressing at such a unique circuit.

The Monaco Grand Prix takes place on the Principality’s streets, just centimetres off the guardrails, meaning that any mistake, small as it may be, is very costly. It’s a high downforce track and very demanding on the brakes. Qualifying is very important because overtaking during the race is a difficult task.

Pirelli have elected their super-soft and soft tyres for this Grand Prix.

Pedro de la Rosa: “Monaco is by far the most difficult and technical circuit in the entire Championship. The only trick to this track is to do miles and not change the car’s set-up too much because you can find more time in the driver than in the car. We must try to do as many laps as possible on Thursday in order to build up some confidence for qualifying because it’s the most important thing in Monaco. Another major difficulty at this track is the traffic, it’s vital to complete a clean lap and make the most of it. Pirelli is bringing its soft and super-soft tyres so it’s even more important to do a good first lap with the super-softs as you won’t have two laps with them. In the race the most important thing is to manage your strategy well and it’s more than probable that there will be a safety car so luck can also come in to play. We’re all really looking forward to the race because it’s a less aerod ynamic track than Barcelona and, therefore, we expect to be closer to the leaders than in the last Grand Prix”.

Narain Karthikeyan: “Street circuits aren’t my favourite but Monaco obviously has a special place on the calendar. It’s not every day that you get to race in such a beautiful setting and with such a special vibe surrounding the race. It’s one of the toughest races because you’re so close to the guardrails that you know you can’t make one single mistake. Last year I had a decent outing despite facing many problems in qualifying and practice. Coming away from a disappointing weekend in Barcelona, I am hoping for better luck this time and to get a proper chance to work with the updates we brought in Spain and have a trouble-free weekend”.

Luis Pérez-Sala, Team Principal: “Monaco is a very special Grand Prix and a circuit that, in my day, I really liked to drive at because you’re always very close to the guardrails and you can’t make one mistake. It’s a very demanding track mechanically, where drivers need great ability and suffer physically and psychologically because you can’t make any slip-ups and therefore you need to be fully focused at all times. It’s a tough test for the car’s reliability and even more so if it is hot. We have minor upgrades for this race which we hope will help us to close the gap to the front pack. The team is really looking forward to taking on a beautiful race as is Monaco”.