HRT Qualifying Indian Grand Prix 2011

October 29, 2011

FP3 & Qualifying at the Indian Grand Prix

Buddh International Circuit, India

29th of October, 2011

Maximum temperature: Air 31ºc, Track 38ºC – Sunny

11.00-12.00 FORMULA 1 PRACTICE SESSION 3

Narain Karthikeyan   F111-002  #22   22nd (25 laps)   1:30.900

Daniel Ricciardo        F111-003  #23   24th   (16 laps)   1:33.246

14.00-15.00 FORMULA 1 QUALIFYING SESSION

Narain Karthikeyan    F111-002 #22   22nd   (11 laps)   1:30.238

Daniel Ricciardo         F111-003 #23   21st     (11 laps) 1:30.216

“Today has been a positive second day at the Indian Grand Prix for HRT F1 Team who finished qualifying with its drivers, Daniel Ricciardo and Narain Karthikeyan, in 21st and 22nd place respectively. In the morning, practice session three started well for local idol Narain Karthikeyan and his teammate Daniel Ricciardo, with both of them finishing the session satisfied with the car’s set-up on the 5.125km track. However, a problem with the gearbox on Ricciardo’s car meant that the mechanics had to work relentlessly in the garage to get the Aussie’s car ready for qualifying.

“Both drivers completed a perfect qualifying session and clocked almost identical times, a satisfying battle which ended up being won by the Australian driver by 21 tenths and with both Virgin cars behind. Ricciardo and Karthikeyan received a 5 place penalty each, the first one because of the change to the gearbox and the second for impeding Schumacher in qualifying.”

Narain Karthikeyan: “We got the potential out of the car and beat both of the Virgins and I am proud of it. I was up on my teammate but made a small mistake. Nevertheless, I’m very happy with the way I drove and the position I achieved. I think this was the maximum that we could get and the team did a fantastic job to get us ahead of Virgin. It’s a fantastic sensation racing in front of my home crowd and for tomorrow I am aiming to finish in the best position possible”.

Daniel Ricciardo: “The position I achieved today was quite good, it’s one of our best finishes in qualifying this year ahead of our rivals. I was a fair way ahead of D’Ambrosio which is nice. In FP3 we had some issues and couldn’t do any preparations for qualifying, so we have to be very happy with the result. There are still a few things that we need to be on top of but we are always looking better for the race, I didn’t think qualifying would be our strong point so I’m looking forward to tomorrow where I hope to end up ahead of the cars I beat in qualifying today”.

Colin Kolles, Team Principal: “The track conditions were supposed to be better today and the third practice session started quite well. Narain and Daniel were doing an excellent job with the hard tyres and working on the cars’ set up for the race. The feeling was good and the improvements that we were hoping for today’s practice session were made. Narain also did well on the soft tyres but, unfortunately, Daniel had a gearbox problem at the late stages of the session that made us replace it for qualifying. Things worked perfectly in the garage and we managed to have everything ready just in time for an almost perfect qualifying session. Both drivers improved their times lap by lap. We could have gone quicker by putting the sectors together but beating both Virgins is satisfactory. It is a shame that both Narain and Daniel will have to start from the back of the grid after the 5 position penalty but I am confident that the two of them can have a good race tomorrow”.

Hispania Racing Preview Monaco Grand Prix 2011

May 25, 2011

Monaco Grand Prix Preview

27th-29th May

Circuit de Monaco, 78 laps, 3.340km

“The FIA Formula 1 World Championship makes its most glamorous stop in Monaco for one of the most prestigious races on the calendar.

“Technical excellence, precision driving and bravery are all key in order to have a good weekend in the Principality. Brakes are worked very hard in the Circuit de Monaco and overtaking is almost impossible meaning that qualifying plays a vital role in the outcome of the race. Tyre strategy will also have a big say in the race since aero efficiency isn’t as crucial in Monaco as in other places. Pirelli will introduce its softest range of tyres for this race, the PZero Red Supersofts which will add a new factor to the difficulty of the race.”

Colin Kolles, Hispania Racing Team Principal:

“The Monaco Grand Prix is the biggest race in Formula 1. Hopefully we will have a better weekend than in Barcelona, even though we proved there that we have made progress. In fact we were ahead of others fighting with the Virgins but unfortunately we were unable to finish the job off.

“In Monaco we’re looking to confirm this progress. We are also hoping for some clarification regarding the diffusers, so we will wait and see how that turns out.”

Narain Karthikeyan, Driver #22:

“Every Formula 1 race is special but Monaco somehow manages to surpass even that. Not just the race itself, but everything surrounding it is just fantastic. It is definitely the jewel in the F1 crown. I’ll never forget the last few laps in 1992 when Senna beat Mansell.

“I’ve only raced here once, in 2005, so I have a lot of catching up to do and street circuits are always a tough challenge. It is a circuit where history is ingrained in every single metre of track. Personally, my favourite part is the fast left handed Tabac corner leading into the swimming pool complex. As a driver, I have to ensure that I don’t make any mistakes and concentrate 100% for the entire duration of the weekend.

“Once we do some running on Thursday and are able to assess all the new variables on the car, especially with the new tyres, only then will we be able to decide which kind of strategy will be the optimum for the race on Sunday”.

Vitantonio Liuzzi, Driver #23: “I love Monaco, it’s one of the greatest races in motorsport as you drive between the rails and really need to be fearless. It’s the most glamorous race, an amazing weekend for everyone, it truly is something spectacular.

“Last year was my best race there when I finished 8th after having a great qualifying session. It’s a date you look forward to on the calendar because it’s a special track, not as easy as a normal circuit, a very demanding place”.

Virgin Racing’s Spanish Grand Prix 2011

May 22, 2011

image

“Marussia Virgin Racing achieved another double finish today to add to its tally at the fifth race of the 2011 Formula One season, the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.

“The grandstands were full in honour of local hero Fernando Alonso and they were rewarded with sunshine and an air temperature of 27°C. The track had been warmed to 41°C and a major concern was to save the tyres in order to optimise the pit-stop strategy.

“The race got off to a clean start, and both Timo and Jérôme followed a three pitstop strategy, using the Hard Pirelli P-Zero tyres only for the last stint. They ran at a similar pace throughout the race and the two cars performed reliably, allowing Timo Glock and Jérôme D’Ambrosio to cross the finish line in 19th and 20th position respectively. “

Timo Glock

“I had a reasonable race – although it was a bit of a struggle going into turn one. Liuzzi got past me as he had a better line but I got past him after the first pitstop, which was good as it meant that we could then go at our own pace.

“In general I think we got the best out of the car today and we had a good strategy in terms of managing the traffic, so overall I’m quite happy with my day.”

Jérôme D’Ambrosio

“I think it was a pretty good race for me – better than qualifying yesterday. I had a pretty good first stint but of course when we hit the traffic it turns into a completely different race.

“Here you lose a lot of time, more than in Turkey, China or Malaysia, but for us it was a good race. We need to look at a small issue with the brakes but apart from that everything went smoothly. The team did a great job again with the strategy. I had some good stints with not too much traffic so overall I’m quite pleased.”

John Booth, Team Principal

“Timo got a particularly good start on the run down to turn one, but unfortunately Liuzzi got past on the outside. He struggled in the first stint with a set of tyres which had a small vibration issue. We picked this up after qualifying but since we needed to run all three sets of our Option tyres today, we elected to use that set in the stint which we thought would be most plagued by traffic.

“It looks in general that our pace was a little bit better than we thought compared to the front-runners and we also didn’t see the traffic we expected in the first stint. After stopping for a new set of Option tyres Timo made light work of getting past Liuzzi and was able to run at his true pace for the rest of the race.

“Jérôme struggled a bit with his braking stability throughout the weekend and this seems to have harmed his pace in the race relative to Timo. However, overall, he completed his objective of moving ahead of the Hispanias.

“In terms of the team performance, another strong weekend in which we have completed the first five-race cycle on the gearbox, which is a huge improvement compared to last year. Now we have our reliability issues behind us, we need to focus on performance developments for the car.”

Virgin Racing Preview Spanish Grand Prix 2011

May 18, 2011

Timo Glock – Virgin Racing MVR01

Timo Glock, Virgin
2010 Qualifying – 21st, 2010 Race – 18th

“The Circuit de Catalunya is still one of the best tracks on the calendar because we drivers have raced and tested there so many times and can get straight down to it. The track has a bit of everything – very slow sections mixed with quicker sections and two very fast straights – particularly the start/finish – which is one of the fastest straights on the calendar. The weather can be mixed at this time of year, which makes it unpredictable and quite interesting for the race. Our objective will be to try to get more from the package and hopefully get the new developments working well because the early signs were quite promising.”

Jerome D’Ambrosio, Virgin
2010 Qualifying – n/a, 2010 Race – n/a

“The Circuit de Catalunya is one of my favourite circuits as I’ve raced here many times, so it gives a driver a good head start when you know a track so well. We tested here at the beginning of the season, but we will still have the usual set-up programme to work through because, with the track’s changeable conditions, a tyre compound can work well one time and less well the next. It’s going to be a very busy week, as the Spanish Grand Prix is back to back with Monaco, so we will have two weeks of fantastic F1 racing for the fans to look forward to.”

John Booth, Virgin team principal
“We head to Barcelona this week optimistic that we can continue to make another step forward. We had a positive aero test at Idiada last weekend, which we hope will help us extract more from our upgrade package at the Circuit de Catalunya.

“We’re on proper European soil now for a couple of races which, coupled with the fact that we’re very familiar with this track through testing, makes things easier. The fact that this circuit is a known-quantity and we have a lot of data from 2010 and the two pre-season tests to work with means that we have a good knowledge base from which to set the car up. This track is also a good barometer of overall car performance so we will have a more representative perspective of how well our updates are working.”

Can Virgin Continue to Beat the 107% Rule?

May 12, 2011

Timo Glock Virgin MVR-01

Timo Glock is desperate for improvements to the car. “If we carry on like this, it will be quite difficult to qualify for the races. We cannot make updates work then we will be quite in trouble but it is too early to say.

“I am behind the team, there are a lot of good people here and we just have to sort out some stuff for the future and change certain things. We went to the full package on my car and it was not slow or anything it was just quite difficult to drive.

“In terms of driveability from the exhaust system which was difficult to get under control and everyone else in the paddock has the same problem.

“When you run it the first time it takes some time and it didn’t work perfect for us, so we made a decision to go back and I had to go to the old floor and old exhaust system.

“Frustrating is maybe the wrong word. Everyone expected that we would make a step forward and we couldn’t do it. In general, it doesn’t make any sense for the team to be frustrated. We have to get on top of the problems and we have to make changes for the future to make it better.

“Everyone knows where we are and the situation we are in, and we have a team where we, together, have to make changes for the future.

“We have to find a direction and find a way to make updates work – that is all I can say.”

Pat Symonds Appointed as Consultant to Virgin Racing

April 22, 2011

Virgin’s MVR01

Pat Symonds, Renault’s former executive director of engineering, was suspended from Formula 1 events for five years in 2009 for his part in Nelson Piquet Junior’s deliberate crash in the 2008 Singapore grand prix, although this ban was overturned in 2010. He will be able to return to Formula 1 full time in 2013 but may act as consultant in the meantime.

Virgin Racing have seized the opportunity and have employed him to advise on their management structure and operations. John Booth, Virgin’s team principal commented: “I think it is fair to say that Pat, who has only been working for us for two months, is undertaking an overview of the team.

“He works with the engineers daily, but his main job at the moment is to take an overview of where we are. I am sure within a month or two he will give us some conclusions and pointers.”

“There are two areas – one that he does give us great optimism for the future. He has been there before, done it several times and knows it inside out. The other thing is that when you have a conversation or a meeting, then Pat works with the engineers and he gives a rubber stamp to the way the engineers have been setting the meetings up, the way they have been working, the way they deal with the drivers.

“It gives you a great deal of confidence that you know they have been doing it right for the last eight months or so – as that is always a question in your mind. When someone like Pat gives you a rubber stamp, it gives you a real boost of confidence.

“We have stagnated, we haven’t moved on – and that is the most disappointing thing but hopefully we have recognised some of the problems, and the upgrade in Turkey will put a lot of that right but that will only put us where we should have started in Australia.

“We are lacking downforce. There is no question about that. It is a matter of just rolling our sleeves up and getting it sorted.

“I don’t think windtunnel testing is quite the inefficient, cash-guzzling beast it was four years ago. I think with the wind-on restrictions, the people within F1 operating windtunnels have become much cuter and I think they are 20 times more efficient than they were four or five years ago.”

 

Jerome d’Ambrosio has become Famous in Belgium

February 17, 2011

Virgin Racing’s new driver, Jerome d’Ambrosio, is  getting accustomed to being famous.

“The other day I went into a couple of shops and both times they recognised me. That was a first for me. I didn’t go out so much after the announcement as I was quite busy, but recently I was in the city. It’s funny, but people in Belgium have a lot of respect as well so I don’t feel under pressure. They were just wishing me good luck for the season and were really proud. It’s great to hear people saying that.

“It’s been 17 years, yeah since there was last a Belgian driver on the grand prix grid. It’s something fantastic, but now I have to get the most out of this chance. I’ve realised that people in Belgium love F1; I couldn’t have expected such a reaction and I didn’t expect that reaction, that everyone is so enthusiastic about it, and I’ll do my best so I can stay as long as possible in F1.”

“I can’t wait for all the races, but Spa of course will be special. Silverstone will be special, too, because it’s the home race for the team and driving the track there is fantastic, Becketts, Copse, everything is special but also Spa, Monaco, Suzuka… I cannot wait to be out there! For me, Spa is very important. It’s my home grand prix, and more than being just my home grand prix, it’s one of the nicest circuits in the world. I drive for the thrill it gives me and for the sensations I get, and Spa gives me many emotions when I go round the track. For that reason, I want it to stay on the calendar, and I hope it does.”

Referring to his team mate Timo Glock, Jerome said:

“He’s experienced and very fast, but a very open guy. It’s one of the great opportunities I have this year, to have a team-mate like Timo. I can really learn from him. I’m just focussing on what I have to do, and if I do my job, the results will come naturally.”

Glock Rejuvenated

January 31, 2011

Timo Glock’s aprehensions about the new season with Virgin Racing have been dispelled and he relishes 2011.

“We had a good sit together in the last couple of races. John Booth and Graeme Lowdon and myself spent quite a lot of time together, talking about the next year. They had some quite positive things, which I think calmed the situation down a little bit, and made life a bit easier for everyone. So in the end there was no real discussion.

“The team is moving in the right direction and we’ve got some good sponsors on board. Marussia is a big partner now. I think they are quite straightforward and they want some success in the future, and that’s good. That’s what the team needs, and in the end we have to find out how quickly we can move up. The team has made a lot of changes in terms of the structure, people moving around, putting them in different positions, which I think has helped quite a lot already.

“We’re much better, much stronger, than the same time last year but in the end you need a car which is quick to move forward, and that’s what we have to prove this year. You can’t gain three seconds over the winter, that’s not possible, and we have to be realistic about what we have, and the budget we have. We have to try and find a way to move closer to Toro Rosso and all these guys and try to stay with Lotus, or whatever the team is called now! That has to be the target.”

Virgin Racing Increases Computational Power

January 27, 2011

Virgin Racing’s Technical Director, Nick Wirth, was bouyant about the team’s stronger relationship with CSC, their I.T. supplier and that they will have twice the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) power this year.

“We see gain upon gain coming. The increased productivity and throughput is amazing and the new car is a very big step forward from the 2010 car. We are excited about putting these new things to use on the car, and we have tried to learn from all our lessons last year to bring it all together.

“I think it is going to be a very interesting season. We have new tyres, new rules, and a moveable rear wing. No-one knows how that  will work on the racing, but it will have an enormous effect on how the engines are used. There are a whole range of things that will be different this year, and we want to make a step forward up the grid to show what we can do.

“With the way F1 is governed, there is a limit to how much you can do. Teams like McLaren and Red Bull Racing will use a wind tunnel and a bit of CFD, but when we understood our CFD quota we realised we needed to make a huge step forward and use all of our possible aerodynamic development. We formed a fantastic relationship with CSC, which has helped us install a new computer system in our technology centre in Banbury, and it means we will be the first team to go to the limit of aero testing only in CFD. In 2011 we will be doing more CFD than any other team on the grid and I can say that because I know that if we did one day of wind tunnel testing then we would be breaking the rules.”

Virgin’s Principal commented:

“It’s great to no longer to be a new team, as we are going into our second season now. 2010 was very much about getting established in a very short time, to get the team put in place, and we are very excited about 2011.We follow a different path to the other teams. We’re focused on new technology and using the processes Nick has pioneered. We’re very excited about moving into 2011 and making use of that.”

Cosworth’s KERS

January 23, 2011

Mark Gallagher, Cosworth’s F1 Business Manager has commented on their KERS developments.

“At the moment Williams are the only one of our customers who are going to be using KERS in 2011. Virgin and HRT are not. Both those teams have expressed an interest in KERS for 2012. Obviously in Williams’ case they have got their own hybrid power company and have their own solution so we’re integrating a Williams solution with a Cosworth solution to provide what we want.

“We have a number of options for how we might proceed in the future. Obviously Williams would be very interested to sell their system to more and more teams. As everyone has seen Williams recently agreed to supply transmission systems to HRT but equally we’ve had discussions with a number of suppliers and with all of our teams about options for the future. I don’t want to say too much other than that we have some pretty clear thoughts as to what we’d like to do for 2013.

“We’re not ready yet to announce what those are but, clearly, having a completely integrated rear end of the car will be the right thing to have. So that means engine, transmission and KERS designed together and working together in complete harmony, providing the right weight distribution, providing the right functionality and operational requirements.

“So, what I would say is the days of Cosworth doing just the engine and not worrying about everything else are coming to an end because we have to take a holistic view. Obviously Ferrari, who we are selling engines against, and Mercedes and Renault, because they own teams they’ll be sitting down and thinking ‘how can we do the whole thing?’ We have to be in the same mindset.

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