Free Practice 3 & Qualifying at the Belgian Grand Prix
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
Saturday, 1st of September 2012
Weather: Sunny – Air 19ºC, Track 25ºC
11.00-12.00 FORMULA 1 PRACTICE SESSION 3
Pedro de la Rosa F112-02 #22 22nd (22 laps) 1:53.383
Narain Karthikeyan F112-03 #23 23rd (23 laps) 1:53.562
14.00-15.00 FORMULA 1 QUALIFYING SESSION
Pedro de la Rosa F112-02 #22 22nd (6 laps)1:53.030
Narain Karthikeyan F112-03 #23 24th (8 laps) 1:54.989
The sun shone today for the second day at the Belgian Grand Prix and the teams were able to get the maximum out of the third free practice session to prepare for the definitive qualifying session. Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan made the most of the hour-long morning session to draw conclusions regarding both dry tyre options and the F112’s set-up in these conditions. The sensations weren’t ideal but the changes made ahead of the qualifying session improved the performance of the cars which, added to the strategy and driver skill, helped Pedro de la Rosa to complete an impeccable lap just as the checkered flag came out to finish in 22nd, ahead of Pic and his teammate Karthikeyan. The Indian driver wasn’t as lucky and couldn’t complete a clean lap to prove his real potential. De la Rosa, who gains a position because of Nico Rosberg’s penalty, and Karthikeyan will start 21st and 24th respectively for tomorrow’s 44 lap race.
Pedro de la Rosa: “I’m very happy with today’s qualifying because we completed an impeccable lap. We went out with just enough time and did the three best sectors on the same lap; we risked it and it paid off. After the issues we had with the car this morning in P3, we made the appropriate changes and they worked well. We also qualified ahead of other cars and did so at such a complicated circuit, so that’s even more satisfying. For us the times aren’t important, it’s seeing the improvement and not qualifying last that matters. There are some cars with upgrades finishing behind and that’s positive”.
Narain Karthikeyan: “I made the most of the morning session but I didn’t have a good qualifying session as I constantly ran into traffic. I was on my flying lap right at the end of the session but on turn 15 another car hindered me and I was unable to finish it. But that’s in the past now. We have to forget about today and think about tomorrow’s race where we will fight, as always, to achieve the best result possible”.
Toni Cuquerella, Technical Director: “We were basically starting from scratch today after yesterday’s rain so we had to focus all of our testing, for the race and qualifying, in the morning. The track improved lap by lap and it was important to continue running. And that’s what we did. Pedro completed a fantastic lap and achieved the third best qualifying percentage this season (103.7%), which proves that the F112 adapts better to medium downforce circuits. It’s a shame that Narain wasn’t able to complete a clean lap as his time doesn’t reflect his true speed. The forecast for tomorrow is dry and with slightly higher temperatures so it might be hard to predict how much the tyres will degrade. It could be a two-stop race but we’ll have to adapt our strategy on the spot since Spa is a circuit where overtaking is possible and our car has a good maximum speed”.