HRT Chasing Virgin After “Intense” Qualifying Session

by Bethany Andrews

Despite falling outside the 107% mark in qualifying the HRT Formula One Team are allowed to participate in the ensuing race tomorrow. Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi and rookie Australian Daniel Ricciardo got a second minute reprieve today when Michael Schumacher's car failed, allowing them to qualify their HRT F111's in 22nd and 23rd places.

Veteran Vitantonio Liuzzi who has been the main driver at HRT this season believes that the cars were capable of a bit more. “It was a very intense qualifying session. With every lap that passed, the track conditions changed, with some areas still damp from the rain and others dry. We were improving lap by lap but on my last lap I lost around eight tenths because I came up behind a slower car. I think we could have even caught Glock. In the end this was not to be, but we were still close to Virgin. We've got a lot of work ahead this evening. Looking ahead to tomorrow, we need to focus on our pace if we are to beat Virgin in the race. I'm sure it will be a very interesting race and, if the conditions are the same, just as crazy as in Canada”.

Red Bull reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo understands that he needs to make improvements but is looking forward to the race tomorrow. “As we expected, today has been a little tricky with the changing conditions, especially during qualifying. The track was pretty damp at the beginning but started to dry with a few minutes to go. There was one lap where you could make the most of it, but I missed it. We also had a bit of a mechanical problem that didn't help. It was a combination of things. Small mistakes cost quite a lot of time in these sorts of conditions. I've been slowly improving but not enough and there are a few areas that I need to work on. But I'm confident for tomorrow. Races are always special and I'll do my best, as always. It is important to make a good start and see where we can go from there”.

Team Prinicpal Colin Kolles is aware that the weather played a huge part in the session but commends the team for their efforts. “The team did an incredible job this morning as we changed another allocated engine shortly before the third session on Ricciardo's car. Thanks to all for a great job that enabled us to have a good day despite the very wet track this morning. We know that Spa will be difficult. We are struggling into the second sector, but the cars and drivers did a good job in the first and third sectors where overtaking is possible. Like everyone else we lost track time this morning because of the weather delays. We’re looking forward to the race tomorrow and look for a two car finish again”.

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