The second day of the Singapore Grand Prix held at the Marina Bay Street Circuit today finished with a positive balance overall for HRT Formula 1 Team who, after intense work in the garage and analysis of data gathered yesterday, improved the performance of its cars substantially.
Narain Karthikeyan was consistent throughout the day, which culminated in a good qualifying session where he finished in 23rd, whilst his teammate de la Rosa, who went out with a new gearbox today which lead to a penalty for not completing the obligatory five Grands Prix, finished in 24th.
The tough conditions which the drivers will face in tomorrow’s 61 lap race will be decisive in the outcome of the race. But also the high probability of the safety car coming out and the degradation of the tyres will play a vital role in the strategy, which is anticipated to be between two and three stops.
Pedro de la Rosa:
FP3: F112-02, #22 24th (14 laps) 1:54.875
Q: F112-02, #22 24th (7 laps) 1:53.355
"Overall my sensations are positive because the car has improved but we didn’t complete a good qualifying session. We were using a new set of tyres and they were blocking a lot so we were unable to complete a clean lap. Although I already knew that tomorrow I would be starting last because of the penalty, I tried to complete a quick lap, but it wasn’t to be. I take with me the fact that the car has improved quite a bit and that is important ahead of tomorrow because it will be a tough race. It will be tough for everyone but we have to race intelligently to not overwork the brakes and manage the tyres well. As always, we will give it everything to do the best we can”.
FP3: F112-03, #23 22nd (14 laps) 1:54.421
Q: F112-03, #23 23rd (7 laps) 1:52.372
"I’m happy because in qualifying I completed an almost perfect lap. I’m pushing very hard and I think that right now I’m driving very well. I’m very comfortable within the team, they help me a lot and make me feel at home, and when the atmosphere is that good it’s easy to perform well. I’ve done two good consecutive qualifying sessions and I hope to keep that momentum. Tomorrow’s race will be tough physically and mentally but we will fight to achieve the best possible result”.
Toni Cuquerella, Technical Director:
"Yesterday we tested the new components and, although this isn’t the ideal circuit to draw conclusions, after analyzing the data we gathered today we opted for the adjustments that could work best for us. And, effectively, we saw an important improvement with respect to the high downforce circuits. The drivers also had good sensations so the overall result was positive. Narain completed a good qualifying session, in the same line as his last Grands Prix where he has been more secure and consistent. It’s a shame that Pedro was unable to complete a clean lap this time. Tomorrow will be a tough race because, in terms of time, it is the longest in the season. But it will also be tough because of the high temperatures that the engine and the brakes reach, but also because of the thermal degradation of the rear tyres. It all leads to a two or three-stop strategy”.