HRT are tonight celebrating a good qualifying session by their standards after both Vitantonio Liuzzi and Daniel Ricciardo out-qualified the two Virgin Racing drivers.
Liuzzi will start the Brazilian Grand Prix tomorrow from P21, with Ricciardo starting alongside his team-mate on the second-from-last row of the grid.
“Both drivers did a very good job today in qualifying,” said team principal Colin Kolles. “It has been our best qualifying session this season. I think we could have done even better if the cars would have been released in the right time frame in order to avoid traffic and to give the drivers the maximum laps.
“We are ahead of both Virgins and closer than ever to Lotus which is very positive and this reflects the improved performance of the car in the last races. It seems that the chances of rain for tomorrow’s race are quite high so we have to be ready for that too and try to finish the season on a good note”.
Liuzzi was pleased with the handling of his car today and, after a troubled weekend last time out in Abu Dhabi, is delighted that things are finally starting to go his way again.
“The car was a lot better than yesterday, especially the balance,” said the Italian. “That was a good way to finish the season, in terms of qualifying, ahead of the Virgins. It's also a good result for me after all the problems we had in Abu Dhabi, so it's a great feeling to be back in business with a car that is working a hundred per cent allowing us to fight with the others.
“We showed that when things are working we can perform and that's what we're here to do. It could be a crazy race tomorrow as there is a chance of rain so we'll look forward to that”.
Ricciardo thinks that, but for a tricky second set of tyres, he could have out-qualified his team-mate today. “In the morning we improved the overall setup and the qualifying session started quite well,” said the Australian rookie. “With the first set of tyres and I was pretty happy with the balance. I thought we could really improve with the second set and made some changes to help try and achieve this but for whatever reason it didn't happen.
“We're in front of the Virgins which is good but I didn't improve on the second set of tyres which is frustrating because we could've achieved an even better result. Now we have to look ahead, think of tomorrow's race and try to do a better job”.