Spanish Grand Prix
Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona
Sunday, 13th of May 2012
Weather: Sunny – Air23 ºC, Track 36ºC
Race: 66 laps – Track distance: 4.655 km
Pedro de la Rosa F112-02 #2219th
Narain Karthikeyan F112-03 #23DNF
The big day finally arrived today at the Spanish Grand Prix with the fifth race of the season taking place and HRT Formula 1 Team taking part in the first home Grand Prix of its new era. It was also a great day for Pedro de la Rosa who completed a brilliant race from start to finish, with four pit stops, and managed to overcome adversity to cross the line in 19th place, achieving the team’s best result of the season so far. The sour note of the day was Narain Karthikeyan’s retirement as a result of a problem with a screw in his second pit stop.
Pedro de la Rosa: “Racing in front of your home crowd is fantastic and so is finishing the race. I’m very happy because it’s the second home Grand Prix of my career that I finish, so I’m really satisfied about that. It’s true that it’s a discrete position but we gave it our all and we did what we could. We were ahead of the Marussias on some laps and behind on others but our rhythm, in general, wasn’t bad. We know that we must continue to improve but we’re on the right line. The race was even harder than we anticipated. We did a four-stop strategy and we finished near the limit because the tyres were degrading a lot. The first twenty laps were complicated. The softs literally disintegrated, but the hards went much better and we were able to maintain a better rhythm which enabled us to finish in our best position so far this season in front of our fans”
Narain Karthikeyan: “I had some trouble at the start with a little bit too much wheel spin, but it didn’t affect me too much and by the first turn I was already back up behind Pedro. It was the first time I drove on heavy fuel this weekend so, with the first set of tyres, my objective was to get used to them. On the second set I had a really good stint and was catching Pedro as we came in for the pit stop to switch to hard tyres. That’s when my bad luck continued…I hope to leave it behind in Spain and have a fresh start in Monaco”.
Luis Pérez-Sala, Team Principal: “Once more we proved a good reliability which enabled Pedro to finish the Spanish Grand Prix in front of our home crowd. It was a really tough race, with the tyres degrading a huge amount and that’s why we had to go for a four-stop strategy. But despite the fact that we have a lot to improve, we’re satisfied with Pedro’s result, which is the best we’ve achieved this season thus far. It’s a very special Grand Prix and for that reason we would have liked to have finished the race with not one but both cars. But unfortunately this was not the case because of a problem with Narain’s second tyre change. These things can happen when you take it to the limit, to any team, and more so when you’re in a learning process as we are. But in this case, after an uphill weekend, it leaves me with an especially bad taste in my mouth to have not finished the job off”.