The HRT squad were satisfied with the way Friday Practice panned out as they evaluated a new aerodynamic package at Marina Bay. Pedro de la Rosa was the quicker driver in both sessions and although he completed 47 laps over the course of the evening, the Spaniard doesn’t know yet how big a step forward they’ve made.
“In the first session we focused mainly on learning the circuit. It’s just as I expected, although tougher physically, especially in the first session. The second session was a bit easier, and as I already knew the circuit, we decided to set up the new floor. Now we must analyse the data to fully understand how it worked and how the different tests we carried out went, especially with different heights on the rear. From there we’ll be able to evaluate the magnitude of the improvement and how much we can extract from it”.
Teammate Narain Karthikeyan only had the opportunity to run in second practice, using it to acclimatise to the physical challenge of driving in Singapore, and was pleased with the work done.
“The objective was to adapt to the track because street circuits are always tricky and the important thing was to do laps and gain confidence. The track is very demanding physically, not just because of the heat, but because it’s very stop and go. We must be happy with how the session went overall because we did a good job but tomorrow we must take another step forward with the car to progress. And I’m also happy with the trust and support Tata Tea shows in me, with them present on my helmet and drink bottle from this race on”.
Karthikeyan made way for Ma Qing Hua, giving the Chinese driver his second opportunity in the car on a Friday and his first in damp conditions.
“It was fantastic to drive the F112 once again and do it at such a spectacular track”, he said. “We did a good session and I learned a lot. We took it calmly as the conditions of the track, which was wet, weren’t easy. We went out on intermediate tyres and the team wanted me to be comfortable and adapt to the track before switching to softs. I improved my times lap by lap and it was also the first time I’d driven a Formula 1 car in wet conditions, on a street circuit at night time so I’m happy with the result”.