Free Practice 3 and Qualifying at the British Grand Prix
Saturday, 7th of July 2012
Weather: Cloudy/Rainy – Air 18ºC, Track 19ºC
10.00-11.00 FORMULA 1 PRACTICE SESSION 3
Pedro de la RosaF112-02 #22 24th (17 laps) 1:37.429
Narain Karthikeyan F112-03 #2323rd (23 laps) 1:37.269
13.00-14.00 FORMULA 1 QUALIFYING SESSION
Pedro de la Rosa F112-02 #22 22nd (11 laps)1:52.742
Narain Karthikeyan F112-03 #23 23rd (10 laps)1:53.040
The weather played a major role once again in the second day of the British Grand Prix with a dry free practice session and a rainy qualifying session which got wetter and wetter. In the morning the team worked against the clock to carry out all the necessary tests to prepare for the qualifying session and tomorrow’s race, in what was the only dry session to date. But in the end the rain started to fall during qualifying and every driver went onto the track immediately with intermediate tyres to set a time before conditions got worse. Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan made the most of their time on track to finish in 22nd and 23rd position respectively.
The uncertainty surrounding the weather makes tomorrow’s race an even greater challenge for the teams in terms of defining their strategies and making it to the checkered flag unscathed.
Pedro de la Rosa: “This was probably the toughest qualifying session, because you didn’t know what you were going to find. Towards the end of the session they asked me through the radio if I wanted to change to dry tyres and I looked up to the sky and didn’t know what to go for because some parts of the track were dry, others wet…so we continued on intermediates and the strategy was to push on every lap as if it was the last one. As for tomorrow’s race, there aren’t many options because this is a high downforce track, both in wet and dry conditions. We used a set-up with a medium suspension, not too hard, because I doubt it will be a fully wet or fully dry race, so we have to be flexible”.
Narain Karthikeyan: “Qualifying was a big lottery because at some stages it was raining heavily in one part of the track and not on another. The car was really good in the dry this morning but English weather is very unpredictable and it turned things right around. We beat one Marussia, which is good, but we always want to do better. These conditions are a gamble and for us it’s better to race in wet conditions because anything can happen. You just need to stay calm and take the opportunities that present themselves”.
Toni Cuquerella, Technical Director: “Today has been a very productive but hectic day because the sessions have taken place in different conditions to yesterday, dry in the morning and intermediate in the afternoon. In the practice session we had to work on a dry set-up and compare the tyres in only an hour but we gathered enough data in case qualifying or the race was to take place in those conditions. But this wasn’t the case so we had to adapt to the drizzly conditions. The first five minutes were the most important and we doubted whether to go for a risky strategy, with dry tyres, or go for intermediates like the rest. In the end we went for the latter and it was the right decision because the rain got stronger. The times in these conditions aren’t realistic because many mistakes occur, there’s traffic, you have to find the right moment on track…But despite all of this the drivers did a good job. To morrow will be a very open race where you can either win or lose a lot”.