Hispania Racing were very satisfied after a qualifying session in Canada during which Tonio Liuzzi out-qualified both Virgin cars and Narain Karthikeyan was faster than Jerome D’Ambrosio. Both drivers were within the 107% qualifying time.
“I think it has been proven that we have made a step forward, we qualified ahead of the Virgins and the gap with Lotus is smaller than in previous races and it could've been even smaller,” said team principal Colin Kolles. “Tonio was two tenths quicker than in his fastest lap when he spun on his last lap and I assume he could've been between two and four tenths quicker if he would have finished the lap. All in all it's quite positive, we have to keep pushing and improve the car”.
“For tomorrow we don't know the weather conditions, the forecast is rain but this could change. If it rains it will be a crazy grand prix, it could turn out to be a lottery which traditionally favours the smaller teams”.
Karthikeyan, who will start from P23 tomorrow, was keen to point out how close he was to his team-mate, and emphasised how long he had been out of the sport before joining Hispania this season:
“I struggled with the warm up on my first set of tyres, something changed in the car from yesterday to today,” said the Indian. “My front left wheel locked up when braking hard so I lost a bit of time on that, apart from that I'd say it was not the best lap but we're very close to both being ahead of our nearest rivals.
“I've made some progress in the last few races, I'm only a tenth away from Tonio so, after five and a half years out of Formula 1, it is a good feeling to be so close. I need one last push which will come as the season progresses”.
“Looking ahead to tomorrow, our rear tyres are wearing very quickly but I guess a lot of cars are having the same problem so we will try our best to keep it under control”.
Liuzzi will start just behind the two Team Lotus drivers, and is optimistic of a good race tomorrow:
“It will be an interesting Sunday,” said the Italian. “We showed today that we have made a step forward; we're ahead of our closest competitor so we've got an interesting race ahead. The race might be under rain so it could be different to what we expected beforehand but it will make it more exciting and we will have to push hard to get the best out of the car”.
“For me the 107% rule is not a problem anymore but, for sure, in this kind of circuit where KERS and DRS make a difference, we weren't that far off it but it's not something that should worry us for the future, we must just focus on beating our rivals. The new exhaust seems to be working well but we still have to get the best out of it. It takes a few races to optimize this, we have to understand the system a little more and make it work better for the future”.