HRT now a full second closer than last year

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Canada, Circuit Gilles Villeneuveca

The improvement shown by HRT Formula 1 Team yesterday was confirmed today in the second day of practice sessions at the Canadian GP with a very good performance from Pedro de la Rosa. The Spaniard qualified for the Canadian GP in 21st place while Karthikeyan will start from 24th.

In the third practice session they finished 19th and 21st respectively, comfortably finishing ahead of their main rivals. In the qualifying session the F112 proved to be very competitive on the straights, ranking amongst the top cars in terms of top speed. Just like in Monte Carlo, De la Rosa completed an almost perfect lap which helped him to finish Q1 in 21st. The traffic and a small mistake on his flying lap impeded Karthikeyan from achieving the position he deserved. HRT’s improvement has been notable this weekend and, whilst the best time was slower than last year, the Spanish team improved its time by one second with respect to 2011.

The forecast for tomorrow predicts sunshine and the temperatures could rise a couple of degrees. That added to the fact that the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve is a tough track on the tyres and brakes, means that the strategy will be key in the 70-lap race.

Pedro de la Rosa:
FP3: F112-02 #22 19th (21 laps) 1’17.705
Q: F112-02 #22 21st (8 laps) 1’17.492
"I’m very happy, for myself and the entire team. In Monaco we completed a good qualifying and here it was even better. The objective was to achieve our fastest lap and we did it. A 17.4 is good, but we could have done better on the last set of tyres but I wasn’t able to improve on my previous lap. We’ve been quick the whole weekend, it wasn’t a coincidence and we should do well tomorrow. With the soft tyres we’re very consistent and, what’s most important is that we’re very quick on straights so we have a chance to overtake others and it will be difficult to overtake us. Ahead of tomorrow’s race I think we can fight with anyone because our car has good speed and is stable when braking, so we aim to make the most out of this”.

Narain Karthikeyan:
FP3: F112-03 #23 21st (21 laps) 1’18.189
Q: F112-03 #23 24th (9 laps) 1’18.330
"It was a messy qualifying for me. On the first set of tyres I encountered a lot of traffic and on my quickest lap I got all the sectors right and I made a mistake coming into the last corner which cost me six tenths. My qualifying has been weak this year and I need to improve this. But we have a good pace and tomorrow we will fight with our main rivals to try and get a good result”.

Toni Cuquerella, Technical Director:
"Today we confirmed the progression which we proved yesterday and that we already demonstrated in Monte Carlo, and I want to thank the whole team for their work. Pedro completed a very good lap and Narain could’ve been there easily. Both we’re comfortably under the 104% and have a good pace with both tyres and we have a good set-up for the race so, although the race will be tough on the brakes, we’re optimistic about our chances. Depending on the temperature we will go for a one-stop or two-stop strategy”.