The second day at the European Grand Prix had a much more positive ending than yesterday for HRT Formula 1 Team as its drivers Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan completed the team’s and their personal best qualifying sessions of the season.
De la Rosa, whose mechanics worked intensely on repairing his car after his accident in FP2, and Karthikeyan finished the morning’s practice session with a good vibe that persisted through into the definitive qualifying session. Both the strategy and the drivers maintained a good level and Pedro and Narain finished 21st and 22nd respectively.
Pedro de la Rosa, F112-02 #22, 21st (7 laps), 1:42.171:
"Today’s qualifying was very good. After yesterday’s incident it took me no time to be quick again, so I applaud my team for their effort last night to fix the car. I’m also happy to have finished ahead of our direct rivals as I wasn’t expecting it. As for tomorrow’s race, we don’t really know what will happen. All the new brake ducts which we brought to this race got damaged in yesterday’s crash and now we won’t be able to use them so we will be going to the limit but, as always, and even more so racing at home, we will give everything so that our fans can be proud”.
Narain Karthikeyan, F112-03 #23, 22nd (8 laps), 1:42.527:
"We made some specific set-up changes for qualifying which definitely helped as we completed our best qualifying session of the season so far. We’re ahead of the Marussias, which is very important, and clocking similar times to Pedro so I’m very happy with the result. I hope to carry the momentum over into tomorrow’s race where we’ll have to keep a close eye on the heat. But we’re in better conditions than in Canada and should be able to put in a good performance. I’m heading into the race full of confidence after today and hope to achieve a good result”.
Toni Cuquerella, Technical Director:
"We’re extremely satisfied with the job done by the entire team today. We got things right both in the garage and on the track and we’re improving more every time. At a circuit that could have been complicated we have confirmed that we’ve taken a step forwards since Barcelona and the team is closer to where we want to be. Pedro’s lap was very good; in fact it was the best in the season so far. To be precise his time was 103.4%. Narain also did a fantastic job and made the most of his gaps and tyres to complete his best qualifying session to date. This goes to show that the work being carried out by the team is very good. Tomorrow’s race will be tough, especially for the brakes, and the biggest question mark is how the cooling will perform over a long distance but we’re confident that we’ll get both cars over the finish line in front of our fans”.
Weather: Sunny – Air 26ºC, Track 47ºC