Pedro De La Rosa (ESP) HRT Formula One Team

Free practice sessions at the Canadian Grand Prix

Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, Montreal
Friday, 8th of June 2012
Weather: FP1: Sunny – Air 24ºC, Track 28ºC

Pedro de la Rosa F112-02 #22 20th (26 laps) 1’18.182
Narain Karthikeyan F112-03 #23 22nd (23 laps) 1’19.354

Pedro de la Rosa F112-02 #22 21st (27 laps) 1’18.908
Narain Karthikeyan F112-03 #23 23rd (21 laps) 1’19.378

The first day of the Canadian Grand Prix got underway today at the legendary Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal. In the morning the team focused on testing the two types of tyres, softs and supersofts, since the forecast was for rain in the afternoon. Both drivers put in a good performance and Pedro de la Rosa finished the session in 20th, completing 26 laps, and Narain Karthikeyan in 22nd after 23 laps, finishing ahead of their main rivals.

In the afternoon the team continued to test the upgrades which were specifically brought for this Grand Prix, especially the rear wing which was designed for this circuit, and they responded as expected, completing the planned programme. The only down side was that Narain suffered some problems with the front left brake which forced him to come into the garage to not force the issue. De la Rosa finished the session in 21st position and Karthikeyan in 23rd.

The bitter side of the day took place towards the end of the first practice session when the number 1 mechanic on Pedro’s car, Craig Stubley, suffered an accident in pitstop practice. Fortunately it was just a scare and he only suffered some bruising and a swollen right knee.

Pedro de la Rosa: “it looks like we’ve taken a significant step forward here in Montreal. Our set-up is working well, our top speed is good and, overall, the car is working well. I’m happy that my mechanic is well, it’s a huge relief because I was very worried for him. We were quicker than the Marussia’s in the morning and the afternoon but both the car and myself can improve. The rise in temperature expected for tomorrow is good for us we’re struggling to heat up the tyres in the last sector and that will help us”.

Narain Karthikeyan: “Today wasn’t a bad day, we made some changes to the car and it responded quite well. We improved a lot from the morning to the afternoon and we got the most out of what we had but we still have to improve tomorrow. I had a problem with the front left brake which didn’t allow me to do a heavy fuel run so we’ll have to work on that for tomorrow”.

Luis Pérez-Sala, Team Principal: “Before anything I would like to say that we’re very relieved because our mechanic, Craig, is well after this morning’s incident as we were all very worried. As for the racing, we tried out the wing that we specifically brought for this circuit and it seems like the car’s balance is good and it’s working as expected. Our only weak point was the brakes but it’s something we’re going to continue working on to improve. We’re comfortably inside the 107%, so this is confirmation that the wing is working well. Tomorrow we will evaluate again how the upgrades are performing but we’re running well”.