Despite the rain threatening to wash out the second day of the German Grand Prix, the morning’s practice session took place in dry conditions practically until the end.
Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan, who was driving in those conditions for the first time in the German circuit, were able to complete the programme without any setbacks and with promising results, with De la Rosa beating both Marussias.
The afternoon’s qualifying session also started in dry conditions but the rain, ever closer, forced every car to get out on track from the start, causing another obstacle to overcome in the form of traffic. Pedro de la Rosa was one of its victims and on his second flying lap, as he was improving his time, he was obstructed by another car and wasn’t able to improve on his time, finishing in 23rd.
Narain Karthikeyan, with less mileage at this track, improved his times lap by lap to finish in 24th, three tenths off his teammate.
The forecast suggests tomorrow’s 67-lap race will take place in dry conditions and the start will be of vital importance to
keep the team’s hopes of beating its direct rivals alive.
Pedro de la Rosa: “It could have been a very good qualifying session, because towards the end I was nine tenths under my time, but on the last two corners I had another car ahead and we lost two positions. We must all respect each other but now we have to look ahead. Leaving that aside, I think we did a good practice session this morning and a good qualifying session; the car performed well and we would have been very close to the Marussia’s. But the important stuff comes tomorrow and we have to focus on getting off to a good start and fighting until the end. We expect a dry race, but on the evidence of these last few days anything is possible”.
Narain Karthikeyan: “Yesterday’s FP2 was in wet conditions and today I could have done with a bit more mileage in dry as I only had one hour this morning to adapt to the circuit. But despite all this we did a good job. In qualifying we only finished three tenths off Pedro, so I’m happy. After FP3 I expected the gap to be bigger but we improved a lot before qualifying. Tomorrow we will see what happens with the weather but whatever the outcome it will be a tough battle and we will try to compete with our rivals”.
Toni Cuquerella, Technical Director: “The dry track in the morning allowed us to finish our programme and we achieved a good balance on both cars which enabled us to head into qualifying with more confidence, whatever the conditions were. In the end it was dry but the threat of rain meant that we all went out immediately and there was a lot of traffic. Our laps weren’t perfect. We have a greater potential and our options are open for tomorrow’s race which will surely be dry. The degradation of the tyres isn’t very high so we will go for a one-stop or two-stop strategy”.
Source: HRT F1 Team