Pedro de la Rosa: We’ve still got to improve more
He is happy with the steady progress made at the Madrid-based outfit
Pedro de la Rosa has insisted that HRT must still continue to improve as the 2012 season enters it second half, after the Spanish outfit suffered a slow and highly uncompetitive start to the season. Since Australia, where HRT failed to even qualify, they have improved considerably throughout each race weekend.
As the Formula 1 fraternity enters the enforced summer recess, HRT’s Pedro de la Rosa has acknowledged the progress the team have made in the first eleven races and believes it is imperative that the team continues to progress once the season is resumed in Belgium. Unlike other teams on the grid, HRT failed to make an appearance during pre-season testing, and could only manage a short shakedown of their car around the Circuit de Catalunya before heading to the season opener in Australia.
Upon arriving at the Albert Park circuit, HRT continued to learn about their new F112 car. Unfortunately they were unable to qualify for the race, and therefore headed to Malaysia still striving to keep up with the front runners. However, since those darkened days the Spanish outfit have visibly improved and are capable of battling for position with Marussia on track.
“We’ve made steady progress but now we’re at a key moment and we must take another step forward.” Explained Pedro de la Rosa, “My assessment is very positive because we set ourselves realistic targets, we’ve accomplished them and we’re, more or less, where we expected to be. We’ve still got to improve more and we have nine races ahead in which to do so.”
When asked whether the objectives set at the start of the season are being accomplished, Pedro de la Rosa answered positively stating that since the Australian Grand Prix, the team’s qualifying performances in particular have improved greatly. At the Monaco Grand Prix, HRT were able to get within 103.6% of the fastest time set in Q1.
“Without a doubt. We’re accomplishing them and with flying colors at times.” Enthused Pedro de la Rosa, “We started outside the 107% in Australia and we’ve reached peaks of 103.6% in Monaco and our best qualifying result which was 103.4% in Valencia. That was a very ambitious target that we set ourselves because, for us, to be close to 104% is a realistic objective. We’ve surpassed it and have potential to do more. For now we’ve accomplished our objectives but there are still many races to set ourselves more ambitious targets.”
Pedro de la Rosa is on the way to writing history in Formula 1 as the first Spaniard to compete in a whole season with a Spanish team, and although the 41-year-old has spent the majority of the season at the back of the pack, it seems nothing can dampen his spirits. Pedro de la Rosa believes the Italian Grand Prix could provide HRT with further competitive results, as the F1 fraternity prepares to leave Europe in preparation for races in Asia and America as the season comes to a conclusion.
Follow me on Twitter - @AndyYoungF1