|FREE PRACTICE 3 AND QUALIFYING – MONACO GRAND PRIX|
Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo
Saturday, 26th of May 2012
Weather: Sunny – Air 24ºC, Track 39ºC
11.00-12.00 FORMULA 1 PRACTICE SESSION 3
Pedro de la Rosa F112-02 #22 24th (19 laps) 1:19.151
Narain Karthikeyan F112-03 #2323rd (19 laps) 1:19.147
14.00-15.00 FORMULA 1 QUALIFYING SESSION
Pedro de la Rosa F112-02 #22 21st (11 laps) 1:18.096
Narain Karthikeyan F112-03 #23 23rd (8 laps) 1:19.310
After enjoying a day off yesterday, Formula 1 action returned to the track today for the third free practice session. An hour of work which enabled HRT Formula 1 Team to fine-tune the set-up on its cars and Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan to gain confidence at such a tricky circuit. The work paid off as Pedro de la Rosa achieved the team’s best result in qualifying so far this year, with a 21st place finish ahead of Pic’s Marussia and only one tenth off Glock. And not only did the team cut down the distance to its immediate rivals but it was also the best qualifying result with respect to the best time, with a percentage of 103.6%. Narain Karthikeyan carried out a strategy with two sets of super-soft tyres and finished 23rd.
Tomorrow will be a tough 78-lap race where anything can happen so getting off to a good start, getting the pit stops right and maintaining a good level of concentration will be key.
Pedro de la Rosa: "It was the best qualifying session of the year and, without a doubt, the best lap I’ve ever done in Monaco. The car went well and we decided to do three runs with three new sets of super-softs because we already know that in Monaco the most important thing is to do one good lap. And that’s just what happened and I’m delighted about it because getting into the 18.0’s here is very good. I’m very satisfied because we got our timing right, the team knew when was the right moment to come out in order to avoid traffic and I accomplished my job, which was to do the best lap possible. I must admit I took some risks, on some laps in the last sector I even almost closed my eyes, but I had to attack and did just that. With one more tenth we would have also overtaken Glock but the truth is that we’re very happy with how the day went”.
Narain Karthikeyan: "We carried out a different strategy to Pedro, and went for two runs when maybe three would have been better. The positive note is that we have one more set of new option tyres for tomorrow’s race and we have to get the best out of them. Pedro and I have been quite closely matched all weekend and I’m sure we’ll have a good pace tomorrow. Although, if it rains it will be a bit of a lottery. Whatever happens, we have to be ready to make the most of any opportunity that may arise”.
Toni Cuquerella, Technical Director: "The minor upgrades which we’ve brought to Monaco have helped us to achieve the best qualifying result in the history of HRT Formula 1 Team by finishing Q1 103.6% off the best time. Besides, we also managed to finish much closer to our main rivals, which is very important. The red flag forced us to alter our strategy; with Pedro we decided to switch to two short runs, whilst with Narain we continued with our original plan and did one run. We got our timing right since we were on the track at the right time and you could consider Pedro’s lap to be perfect. It’s a shame that Narain was unable to set a similar time but tomorrow he should have a good pace in the race. It will be an open race and I’m sure that we will be competitive and will fight to gain positions”.