Race day in Germany was blighted for HRT by an electrical failure on Vitantonio Liuzzi‘s car that meant he had to retire from the race after 37 laps.
However, Daniel Ricciardo did manage to finish his second Formula 1 race, bringing the car home ahead of the Team Lotus driver Karun Chandhok.
“It was good to finish,” said the Australian rookie. “I think we've made a good step from Silverstone but there's still quite a long way to go. It's quite a steep learning curve but I think I've climbed a little bit of that this week. If I can keep this way then I'm sure that in a few races time the progress will be more obvious by, hopefully, finishing a few positions further up”.
“If I can make the same step from Silverstone for Hungary then it's going to look more promising. I'm quite happy with the progress”.
Despite starting from P23, Liuzzi felt that he was making good progress until he retired, and was disappointed not to bring the car home.
“It was a shame because, even though the penalisation for the gearbox meant we had to start from P23, we had a strong start where we passed a few cars on the first lap and had good pace,” the Italain pointed out. “A few laps into the race we started to suffer some problems with the brake balance and we lost quite a bit of pace. After the pit stop, with the tyre change, we recovered our strong pace until an unfortunate electronic issue forced us to retire”.
“Overall, there's been an improvement from Silverstone but we need to push harder and cannot relax for the next race. Luckily, the Hungarian GP is around the corner and we have to look ahead. It will be a difficult one because the track doesn't suit our car much but we will fight as usual”.
Team principal Colin Kolles wanted both cars to go the full distance but was pleased with how Ricciardo was handling himself so far in his race career.
“Of course I would have preferred a two car finish,” said the HRT boss. “Tonio had a good race despite brake problems at the start, but was able to maintain a good distance to Heikki Kovalainen. He retired just before two-thirds distance because of an electrical failure. It was a real pity because the team had taken all precautions during the weekend and had a good pace in the race. The pit stops went smoothly”.
“On a positive note, Daniel has completed his second solid race in a row. He is making good progress”.