Free Practice 3 and Qualifying – Spanish Grand Prix
Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona
Saturday, 12th of May 2012
Weather: Sunny – Air 28ºC, Track 43ºC
11.00-12.00 FORMULA 1 PRACTICE SESSION 3
Pedro de la Rosa F112-02 #22 23rd (13 laps) 1:28.373
Narain Karthikeyan F112-03 #23 22nd (24 laps) 1:28.207
14.00-15.00 FORMULA 1 QUALIFYING SESSION
Pedro de la Rosa F112-02 #22 23rd (6 laps) 1:27.555
Narain Karthikeyan F112-03 #23 (4 laps) 1:31.122
Today’s qualifying session at the Circuit de Catalunya offered different fortunes for both drivers of HRT Formula 1 Team. Pedro de la Rosa was able to continue progress with his car’s set-up and improve his feel as the day wore on. Teammate Narain Karthikeyan wasn’t as lucky and, after a very good job in the morning where he set HRT’s best time up to that moment, he encountered a more complicated qualifying session and wasn’t able to register under the 107% mark.
The team is still awaiting the FIA stewards’ decision but is confident that there will be no trouble for both drivers to line-up on the grid for tomorrow’s 66-lap race.
Pedro de la Rosa: “The day went very well, especially this afternoon, so I’m very happy with what we achieved. We completed two very good laps in qualifying, getting under the 1.28 mark which we hadn’t achieved neither yesterday nor this morning. I know that our position seems the same as always but, in terms of performance, we have progressed and that’s what I’ll take away with me. As I always say, we’ve still got a lot of room for improvement but we’re on the right path and that’s what matters. Tomorrow’s race won’t be easy because it’s a tough track and the rear tyres wear out a lot. We have to get off to a good start, give the Marussias a good fight and finish the race in front of all our fans”.
Narain Karthikeyan: “It’s been a very unlucky weekend for me so far. In the morning everything went smoothly but in the afternoon, with the first set of tyres I was pushing really hard and spun on turn 3 and, as a result, I flat-spotted a tyre so I had to come back in to the garage. We were going to go on the second set of tyres but we discovered some problems and due to safety concerns, not only for myself but the others, we decided that the best thing was to not go back out. It seems like my bad luck continues to follow me this weekend and, although I’m disappointed about that, there’s nothing else I can do but keep giving it my best shot”.
Toni Cuquerella, Technical Director: “We had mixed fortunes today. Pedro was able to continue with his programme and we were able to confirm that everything works fine and, as anticipated, the upgrades gave us an improvement. But we can’t stop, we have to continue progressing. For qualifying, the car’s balance improved a little bit more and Pedro completed two very good laps. With Narain the target in the practice session was to do as much mileage as possible and he did a fantastic job, but we weren’t lucky in qualifying as he spun on the first set of tyres and wasn’t able to set a good time, and when he was about to go out with the second set we had to abort as there was a problem with the fitting of the on-board camera which made it dangerous to go back out. He wasn’t able to get in the 107% but I’m confident that, given the performance he showed this morning, there won’t be any trouble for him to sta rt tomorrow’s race”.