HRT realised their aim of getting both cars to the end of Singapore Grand Prix today, although they did finish four laps behind the leaders and two laps behind everybody else.
For what is worth, four retirements in the race meant that Daniel Ricciardo picked up nineteenth place and Vitantonio Liuzzi came home twentieth.
“Unfortunately my race wasn't too exciting because I got my nose clipped on the first lap,” said Ricciardo. “It was all a bit bunched into turn 8 and I didn't have a clear line so I just wanted to keep that line for the next corner and had a touch.
“It was my mistake for going in a bit too deep and it was a costly one because then I encountered quite a few blue flags which upset my rhythm. But the middle stint wasn't too bad, we got a bit of a rhythm going but towards the end of the race we got more blue flags and tried to go quite long on the tyres, which was pretty difficult to manage. But we made it and it's good to get to the finish line though in the toughest race of the season. Now I need to keep on working and move forward”.
Liuzzi said that the team had been a little unlucky today, and complained about a lack of grip which caused him to hit a wall towards the end of the race. That, of course, didn’t do much for the handling of his car either.
“Today's race has been quite tough; not only because the car was difficult to drive in such conditions but also because we have been a little unlucky,” said the Italian. “The first half of the race has been good and then, in the last quarter, we were forced to change to our last set of tyres because the rear was going and had to put on the tyres that we used in qualifying.
“Immediately I felt that the car had a lot less grip, to the point where I locked the front on turn 14 without doing anything different and I touched the wall, which caused the wing to break. So I was forced to pit again. After the wall incident the car was difficult to drive with quite a lot of understeer so we just tried to reach the checkered flag from there. So it was tough out there but with the positive of having reached the end”
HRT team principal Colin Kolles said that his drivers had done a ‘good job’, and pointed out that they had achieved their target today in Singapore.
“We knew it was going to be a tough race and it has been, but we achieved the main objective of the team that was crossing the finish line with both cars,” he said. “We had different strategies for each one of the drivers and we knew that the chances of a safety car were high therefore we had alternatives to adapt our strategy quickly. The planning was good but it had to come into place earlier than expected when Daniel had to pit to replace his front wing. Both Tonio and Daniel did a good job on the track because they adapted to the circumstances and kept focused. They managed to keep a fairly good rhythm despite the blue flags and pushed each other to the end. This one is over and now we are hoping for a better race in Japan in two weeks”.