Qualifying ‘Could Have Been Better’ for Hispania in Valencia


Hispania Racing were disappointed after qualifying in Valencia saw Narain Karthikeyan stuck right at the back of the grid and Tonio Liuzzi faster than only his team-mate and Virgin Racing rookie Jerome D’Ambrosio.

Team Principal Colin Kolles initial analysis showed him to be a master of understatement: “Qualifying could have been better,” he said.

“We lost too much time, especially in the second sector and also in the third sector,” Kolles added. “I don't think that we achieved the optimum therefore it's quite disappointing, now we have to see what was the reason for us losing so much time in the second and third sector. I hope that the engineers will find a solution for the upcoming races and that we have a good setup for the race tomorrow”.

“Under normal circumstances there won't be any change in the weather conditions tomorrow so I think it will be quite an interesting race but not as interesting as Canada, the main target is obviously to finish the race with both cars, let's see what happens”.

Liuzzi talked about the struggles that Hispania have faced this weekend in the lead up to qualifying. The Italian says that he will fight until the last lap of tomorrow’s grand prix in his bid to collect the best possible result.

“Yesterday we had some trouble with the balance of the car; the rear tyres were overheating and we were sliding coming out of slow corners but this morning we improved the balance,” he explained. “We knew it would be a difficult qualifying session especially because our main opponents made some steps forward but we have to look forward to tomorrow which will be a difficult race because the rear tyres are struggling in these hot conditions but tomorrow is another day and we will see how it goes”.

“Obviously the competition is still on and we will be fighting until the last lap as usual. We have to try and understand the car better for the future and keep pushing for our target”.

“It will be important to try and jump ahead of Timo at the start tomorrow and then keep the rear tyres alive. Even though tomorrow will be a difficult race, we will push to try and get the best result possible for our home fans. After the result in Montreal, people and the fans can believe in the team as we proved we are pushing night and day. It's a shame we're facing these tough conditions at a home grand prix but we will not give up until the end”.

Karthikeyan had a collection of excuses for his qualifying performance, but acknowledged that both he and his car need to improve.  “It was a difficult session,” he commented. “I just didn't catch up the time lost on the track yesterday with the gearbox issue. Braking stability on our car wasn't the best so I'm a little bit concerned about that but, apart from that, there aren't any major issues”.

“The track is tricky and penalizes you a lot if you make a small mistake because all the corners lead into long straights so if you don't stop the car enough or if you lose the apex by a few inches, you get penalized all the way down the straight. There isn't much grip offline so you have to be pretty precise”.

“I would have liked a few more laps perhaps but the important thing is that we've qualified and now have to take on the race tomorrow. It's my first time here so this is all experience I'm gaining and we should take it all as a positive. Now we need to try and improve the car and improve myself and see how we do”.