Tag Archives: HRT

Formula One


HRT Formula 1 Team and Tata Global Beverages (TGB) announce today its brand Tata Tea’s association with Indian Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan and the HRT Formula 1 team for the 2012 Singapore and Indian Grands Prix scheduled from September 21-23 and October 26-28 respectively.

Tata Global Beverages will be extensively promoting the ‘Tata Tea’ brand via this association, with prominent Tata Tea logos appearing on the F112 and Narain Karthikeyan’s helmet and drinking bottle. TGB’s association with Narain Karthikeyan and consequently, Formula 1, will also give it a platform to connect with a large global viewership worldwide, which is second only to the football World Cup.

VIKRAM GROVER, VICE-PRESIDENT, MARKETING, TATA GLOBAL BEVERAGES: “We are pleased to partner with Narain Karthikeyan, the first Indian to compete in the coveted Formula 1. Narain reflects the Indian youth’s latent talent awakening to global sports which Tata Tea has been supporting since the launch of its Jaago-Re campaign e.g. The Tata Tea Jaago Re Inter Milan Soccer Stars program which is in its fifth season currently. Narain also cherishes much the same values as the Tata Tea brand which is evidenced by his support to an institution which provides school education and free boarding for female children belonging to the backward and the underprivileged sections of the society. Also, Formula 1’s inherent teamwork, technology, innovation and fitness-centric nature synergises well with Tata Global Beverages’ focus of being a global, health-enhancing, ‘good for you’ beverages Company”.

NARAIN KARTHIKEYAN: “The Tata Group has supported me since my early days of competition so it is great to be associated with yet another world-class Tata brand. Tata Tea’s endeavour in awakening India’s latent talent in global sports is known and has given fruitful results to the country. TGB’s support will go a long way to help us develop the car and achieve the best possible results during this part of the season. Both Singapore and Indian Grands Prix are unique events on the calendar and I am really looking forward to them”.

LUIS PÉREZ-SALA, TEAM PRINCIPAL: “For two seasons now Tata and Tata Motors have offered important and loyal support for HRT Formula 1 Team and it is great news that Tata Beverages has joined not only Narain’s image but also that of the team for two very important Grands Prix such as Singapore and India. This incorporation is further proof of the good relationship we have with the Tata Group, which not only establishes itself but continues to grow at the same time as the team in such a competitive world as is Formula 1”.

About Tata Tea and Tata Global Beverages

Tata Tea is a leading brand in India and is owned by Tata Global Beverages, a company whose products have significant presence in over 40 countries. Tata Global Beverages is a global beverage business and the world’s second largest tea company. The group’s annual turnover is US$1.5bn and it employs around 3,000 people worldwide. The company focuses on ‘good for you’ beverages and has a stable of innovative regional and global beverage brands, including: Tata Tea, Tetley, Himalayan natural mineral water, Good Earth and Eight O’clock coffee. For more information please visit our website www.tataglobalbeverages.com


Formula One

Pedro de la Rosa will celebrate his 100th Grand Prix at MONZA.
Formula 1 has come back with a bang after the summer break with the two first races taking place with barely any time to spare. Once the race finished in Spa-Francorchamps, the team headed straight towards Monza for what will be the thirteenth event of the season: the Italian Grand Prix. A classic on the calendar which, without a doubt, will be even more special for the team and Pedro de la Rosa in particular as he will be racing in his 100th Formula 1 grand prix at the Italian event. Narain Karthikeyan, on his behalf, aims to have another good performance which translates into a positive result in the race.
The Autodromo di Monza was built in 1922 and is one of the few current circuits that celebrated a grand prix in the World Championship’s first season in 1950. Monza is a very low downforce circuit, the quickest in the championship and the one with the fewest corners in the season. Therefore a good maximum speed is very important to achieve a good result.
Pirelli has elected its hard and medium tyres for this Grand Prix.
Pedro de la Rosa: “Making it to 100 grands prix is something very special and I’m very motivated ahead of Italy, not only because of the 100 mark, but because I’m certain that we can be even more competitive. Monza is a similar circuit to Canada, where maximum speed and brake stability are important; and these are our strengths. I love consecutive races because I like continuity and, besides, Monza is one of my favourite circuits because it’s very different to the rest. So, because of all this, I’m really excited ahead of this grand prix”.
Narain Karthikeyan: “Monza is a circuit that I really like and an interesting track for us. We’re bringing a specific package for this event, with a low drag wing which we hope will help us to have a good performance. It’s a fantastic circuit where I love to race with legendary corners such as the Parabolica and the Curva di Lesmo. I hope not to run into bad luck at this grand prix and to be able to convert a good performance into a positive result”.
Luis Pérez-Sala, Team Principal: “Once again we arrive at an emblematic circuit; a classic on the calendar. Monza is the quickest track in the championship and we come with good sensations since, given the nature of the F112, our car should adapt well to this circuit. Our maximum speed is good and so is our braking so I’m confident that we will be able to perform well. It will also be a special race because Pedro will be celebrating his 100th Formula 1 grand prix and we’re quite excited about that. Very few drivers are able to stay up there for that long and gain the respect of everyone in the way that Pedro has. He’s an admirable driver and person and we’re extremely proud for him to reach this mark with us”.

Formula One


Madrid, Thursday the 9th of August 2012-
With two seasons behind his back as a Formula 1 driver in 1988 and 1989, and a permanent link with motorsport, Luis Pérez-Sala wasn’t entering an unknown world when he was named Team Principal of HRT Formula 1 Team at the end of last year. Pérez-Sala has been at the fore of a project that has experienced a deep transformation in 2012 and, having reached the halfway stage of the season, he assesses what these eight months at the head of the team have been like.
We’re at the halfway point of the season, what assessment do you make of these first months?
My assessment couldn’t be more positive. Our start to the season was complicated. As we’ve already said on multiple occasions, we’ve almost changed the entire team, we’ve moved to a new headquarters where we’ve been based since early April, and all of this whilst we built a new car. It was a very ambitious challenge, a priori it was impossible to accomplish, but we’ve made it with very limited resources. Once we settled in, from April and May onwards, we started to get a race rhythm going. It’s safe to say we’ve encountered some very intense months where the team has given its all, because we’ve been able to carry out everything we set out to do.
What has surprised you most? And what has been most rewarding?
In truth, nothing has surprised me too much, because I came with an open mind and ready to tackle anything that was thrown at me. What I would say is that the most rewarding thing has been to see the commitment of everyone implicated in this project. These people have been united in very difficult moments and have shown bravery, honour and responsibility to continue supporting this project in the toughest moments. It’s not easy to work and perform to the best of your ability having not slept much, being away from home for weeks or going through uncomfortable journeys, but the members of this team have done it, and that’s something to be thankful for. And that work and commitment is giving its rewards meaning that, not only us but everyone can start to feel proud and a part of this project.
Would you say that the set targets for this first half of the season have been accomplished?
Yes, we have accomplished the targets we set ourselves, which were none other than to carry out the great structural change which we’ve done and start to have the necessary stability to be able to grow. This is a target that seems modest but it has implied a radical change. Towards the end of 2011 the decision was made to move the headquarters to Spain, create a new car and have an initial standard that would enable us to be within the 107% comfortably, to then grow from there. And we have achieved all of that, so we can say that we’ve accomplished our objectives. Now we must set ourselves new ones.
And what’s the most complicated challenge that the team has to face?
From here the most important and complicated challenge is to continue growing in the right direction, optimizing our resources, and getting the car to perform better. This is the hardest thing because, whilst other teams have a consolidated structure, we’re still in a transition period. In that sense they’ve also got an advantage over us. But especially because we have limited human and economic resources and that means that the upgrade plan has to be very clear and whatever we introduce will result in an important difference. It really has to represent a step forwards. The most complicated thing now is to not be dropped off by the other teams whilst we finish defining our own team and evolve and prepare the future.
The F112 is a new car completely, what do you make of it? Do you think its maximum potential has been extracted?
I think that, overall, the F112 is a car that has given quite a good result, keeping in mind how it started. In winter I had a lot of doubts, because the car was handed to us and we didn’t have enough time to review it. The proceedings and deadlines weren’t the usual ones and that forced us to go quicker to make up for lost time and organize the different parties implicated in the project to make it on time. But even with all these obstacles, the car has given good results. It has a good base and that’s its biggest strength. It’s a reliable car with good mechanical resistance and it offers a lot of possibilities for its development. I’d say we’re at 50% of its potential and we can still extract another 50%, mainly in aerodynamics.
Will there be any upgrades after the summer break?
Yes, we have some upgrades prepared for the Singapore Grand Prix. As a small team we can’t afford small upgrades every two or three races because the cost of an upgrade or creating a new piece for a small upgrade is very high. Besides the aerodynamic study, you have to produce the parts and that also implies a lot of time. So we have to make the most of any changes and have a very clear idea of the direction we want to take for those upgrades to be productive.
We’ve been able to see how much of an influence the weather has on various races this season. How much can it affect a team’s decision making and what challenges does it present during a race?
We’re also learning in this aspect. We’re not in the fight for points and the fact that we get lapped means that our strategy is always conditioned. But it serves us to accumulate experience and, hopefully not in too long, when we’re a part of the battle for points or a fight for better positions, we will be much better prepared to make the right decisions. In any case you’ve never got everything perfectly under control because legendary teams still occasionally make mistakes, so there’s always something to learn.
The combination of Pedro and Narain as official drivers, Dani as reserve driver and Ma in the development programme is proving to be very positive. What would you highlight about each one?
I’d highlight everything about Pedro. He’s an extraordinary person and an excellent driver. Apart from his experience he’s got a lot of common sense and he acts as the leader of the team. There’s no doubt that he’s the cornerstone of this project. From Narain I’d emphasize his experience, safety and speed, besides the stability he contributes to the team. Dani is a young driver, with strength and ambition and he’s adapted phenomenally well to the team in a position which isn’t easy, which is that of the reserve driver. Ma is a driver who will surprise us all because he has great potential. We saw it when he tested the F112 in Silverstone, where he showed his quality. He’s a hard worker and he has also adapted perfectly. I’m very proud and satisfied with the structure of drivers that we have and each one plays their role perfectly.
What needs to happen for you to consider this a successful season once the championship is over?
For me it would be a success to maintain the reliability we have and improve our performance a little bit more. To achieve this I hope that the aero package that we will introduce after the summer will help us to take the next step. The objective is to stay between the 104 and 105% and have the project for 2013 prepared. If we achieve all of this I’d be satisfied. Besides I hope that the team is fully functioning, with the design and aerodynamics department working at the Caja Mágica, although to achieve this we need a bit more time.
Formula 1 is going through a period of changes with the renegotiation of the Concorde Agreement or the new engines for 2014. What’s the team’s view on each of these very important issues for the future?
HRT Formula 1 Team’s standpoint is open for now. As for the new ruling on engines, we’re waiting to have all the possible information, especially with everything related to the costs that this change implies. We still don’t know all the details, but for us it is of vital importance to know them to see where we stand and what decision we make because this takes up between 15 and 20% of the team’s budget. This is a change that needs important planning that must be done well. As for the Concorde Agreement, I don’t think there will be any problems because, although we’re a small team, we feel that we’re taken into consideration and supported.
After some months of heavy work, what plans do you have for the holidays?
I’m staying with my family in Spain and we’re going to spend some days by the beach and others in the mountains. I’m really looking forward to spending some time with them and to disconnect to gain some strength because we’ve got a great end to the season ahead.

Formula One

Q&A with Pedro de la Rosa…

HRT Formula 1 Team and Pedro de la Rosa have written a golden page in the history of Spanish motorsport this season. The union of both has resulted in the first time in Formula 1 history that a Spanish driver takes part in an entire World Championship with a Spanish team. At the age of 41, the driver from Barcelona is taking on his fourteenth season in Formula 1, but he maintains the same motivation and hunger as the first day to ensure that this project consolidates itself in the pinnacle of motorsport.
We’re at the halfway stage of the season, what assessment do you make of these first months?
They’ve been seven very intense months, with a spectacular amount of team work, which I’ve taken on with a lot of hunger and desire. We’ve made steady progress but now we’re at a key moment and we must take another step forward. 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.
The start was complicated but the team is working better together and improving day by day. Would you say the objectives set at the start of the season are being accomplished?
Without a doubt. We’re accomplishing them and with flying colours at times. 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. In our case, it’s going to be easier to improve in this second half of the season than it will be for a big team that is striving for perfection because we’ve got much more room for improvement. For now we’ve accomplished our objectives but there are still many races to set ourselves more ambitious targets.
With your experience at big teams it can’t have been easy to arrive at such a humble team as this one. On a personal note, how do you face this challenge and what is most rewarding about it?
I’m taking it on as a challenge, well aware that challenges are never easy and that in Formula 1 no one hands you anything. But in my opinion we’re doing a good job, with humility, work and pride. The most rewarding thing is to work with the people from the team and see that in very difficult conditions, and with much less people than other teams, they work day and night with the conviction that we can beat our rivals. The team is going through a period of change and growth and now we’ve got a fantastic headquarters that has transformed the team. We’ve got a base from which the team is growing day by day. No one has stopped pushing, no matter what the situation. And we’ve felt supported. It’s not easy being at the back and finishing last. But what motivates us every day is that we see that we’re improving and we believe that we won’t be at the back for long. It’s very nice to see that, despite the fact that i t’s being very tough, we believe in that step forward.
How is your relationship with your teammates? What would you highlight about each one?
My relationship with Narain is very good. There’s a lot of sincerity and we both want what’s best for the team. We fight hard on the track but in an honest way and, out of the teammates I’ve had, he’s one of the most sincere ones. We try to achieve the best set-up on the car between the two of us without hiding anything from each other. One of the characteristics of Narain and the engineers is that there is total transparency and no bad intentions, we’re aware that we’re last and if one of us finds something that can improve the car he shares it with the other because the objective is to progress. We’re team players.
Dani is a great driver and an important part of the team because he’s got a great sense of humour and he makes things seem less dramatic with his characteristic humour. That’s very important for the team and everyone appreciates him. But he’s also very professional and knows how to work well. When he’s driven on Friday’s he’s contributed a lot.
Ma has integrated very well. He’s the future of China and a driver that must play an important role in HRT Formula 1 Team. He’s probably the first Chinese driver with enough quality to be a Formula 1 driver and he left us all flabbergasted at the Young Driver Test in Silverstone with his great performance.
And what’s your relationship with the Team Principal, Luis Pérez-Sala, like?
Luis is one of the main reasons I’m at the team. I’ve always held him in the highest regard and I have blind faith in him. He’s never going to deceive me and I like to work with people who you can trust in and with whom there are no secrets. With Luis what you see is what you get. Sincerity is our strength and that gives us a lot of agility when making decisions.
The F112 had a complicated birth but is a car with potential. What would you say are its strengths and weaknesses?
Its main strength is that it has a great mechanical platform of suspensions and chassis and it has proved it at circuits where that is important. It is also reliable. Its weakness is its lack of downforce compared to other cars. We know exactly where we lose time and why, so we must work on that.
Of the circuits to come, which are you most looking forward to racing at? And the least?
This is a trick question because my favourite circuit is Suzuka, since in my opinion it’s the nicest in the championship, but almost all of its corners are quick and that’s going to give us a lot of problems. So the circuit I’m most looking forward to is Monza because it has long straights and strong braking corners, and our car performs very well in this kind of circuits. The ones I’m least looking forward to are Suzuka and Spa because they’re going to be very complicated for us.
What would you consider a success once the season is finished?
If we manage to qualify inside the 103% it will be a complete success. Especially doing so without KERS and a much less effective DRS system than the other teams. But it’s going to be very difficult because at the last Grands Prix the difference has been a bit bigger. If we manage to be under 104% with the aero package for Singapore it will be a great finish to the season and the necessary momentum to start next season strongly.
But now it’s time to rest a bit to face an intense second half of the season. What plans do you have for the holidays?
Like every year I’m going to Mallorca, to a small town on the east coast. I’ve spent my summers there since I was 3 years old and I have my childhood friends there and I’m going with my wife and three daughters who I’m really looking forward to spending as much time as possible with.
A message for the fans
The same one as at the start of the season. We’re thankful for their support and we’re here because of them. I thank them for their patience because I understand that the fans want us to be fighting at the front. But they also see that we’re improving every day, cutting down the difference, and building a serious project for all us to feel proud about.

Formula One

Ma Qing Hua and HRT make history at the Young Driver Test in Silverstone

Silverstone Circuit, Northamptonshire

It was an historic day for Formula 1 and HRT Formula 1 Team today at the Silverstone Circuit where Ma Qing Hua made his debut at the wheel of the F112, becoming the first Chinese driver to drive a Formula 1 car at an official event.
As opposed to the previous days, the weather permitted the first day of the Young Driver Test to take place without any setbacks and Ma Qing Hua was able to make the most of the test. The morning’s programme included short test stints for the Shanghai-born driver to adapt to the car and build up confidence at the wheel, completing 54 laps (318 km). These tests were carried out with both hard and soft tyres so that he could also experience the difference between both compounds. In the afternoon, Ma Qing Hua covered a further 28 laps (165 km) where he completed two qualifying stints, one with hard tyres and another with softs, start and pit stop practices and a final long distance stint.
Ma Qing Hua satisfactorily completed the scheduled programme throughout the day, so the team has put an end to these tests and will head towards Germany tomorrow for the tenth Grand Prix of the season which takes place at the Hockenheim circuit from the 20th to the 22nd of July.
Ma Qing Hua: “It was a fantastic feeling to drive a Formula 1 car for the first time; it’s not easy to put into words what I felt. Yesterday I found it hard to sleep and I tried to calm down by thinking that it was just another test. I think we did a good job and everything went according to plan, with good weather too. By being here during the Grand Prix, I learned a lot from my teammates and also to work as a team, as it is very important to give the right information to the engineers in order to optimize the performance of the car. In the morning we did the maximum amount of running to get used to the car, engineers and mechanics and buttons, and also to gain confidence. I’m very proud to represent China and be a pioneer for my nation in this sport. I’m confident that these tests and the ones that will come in the future will help motorsport to grow in China in the future and will grant more opportun ities for everyone. This is only a first small step but once more I want to express my gratitude to everyone who has supported me and made this possible”.
Luis Pérez-Sala, Team Principal: “We’re very happy to have given Ma this opportunity and also very satisfied and proud of how it went. We’ve got a lot of trust in him and he has responded by doing a good job. We’ve followed him for a long time and since he joined our programme he’s proven his ability and work capacity. And today he showed it once more with an excellent job. It’s not easy to drive a Formula 1 car and he made no mistakes. We want to take things one step at a time with him and this test was for Ma to have his first real contact with a Formula 1 car at every level. He did a great job and now we have to continue working so that he can continue to progress in his journey towards Formula 1”.

Motorsports Mondial

Photo: HRT formulaoneteam

Dani Clos will take part in the first free practice session at the Spanish GP

Spanish driver Dani Clos will step into the F112 for the first time on Friday to take part in the first free practice session of the Spanish Grand Prix which will take place at the Circuit de Catalunya. 23 year-old Clos will substitute teammate Narain Karthikeyan for that session and will join Pedro de la Rosa for the first 90 minutes of practice in Montmeló.

It will be history in the making for HRT Formula 1 Team at the Circuit de Catalunya since this will be the first time that two Spanish drivers hit the track forming a part of a Spanish team at the Spanish Grand Prix. It will be a moment to remember for Spanish motorsport and a great opportunity for Clos to prove his worth in front of his home crowd.

After having completed 377.67 kilometres at the helm of the F111 in the Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi last November and having joined the team as an official test driver in February, Dani Clos will take another step on Friday and will fulfill another vital aspect of his testing role by completing his first laps at the wheel of the F112. A car that will be brining a series of aerodynamic upgrades for this important Grand Prix.

Dani Clos: “I’m delighted to have this opportunity. It’s something I’ve fought for all my life; to make my debut in Formula 1 and, above all, to be able to do it at the Circuit de Catalunya which is something very special for me. Besides, I’m extremely lucky to be able to do it with a Spanish team, alongside another Spanish driver who I admire and at home. I can’t ask for more! It’s the ideal situation and I’m proud to be where I am with the people who have always been with me and still are. I hope to extract a lot of data from this practice session, contribute with positive things to the team and do my job in the best way I can. I feel 100% ready and I can’t wait for the moment I step into the car and hit the track”.

Luis Pérez-Sala, Team Principal HRT: “I’m very proud and happy that this moment has arrived and that we’ve given Dani the chance to get in the car on Friday’s first free practice session at such a special and important Grand Prix as is a home Grand Prix. In this first contact he will drive next to Pedro de la Rosa and will have the chance to drive the new F112 for the first time. It’s an important session given the short amount of time on track that we have and more so when you take into account the various aerodynamic upgrades which we have brought. Dani is a great driver and I have no doubt that he will do a good job. Besides, this debut also represents another step forward in our desire for HRT to serve as a platform for young drivers to make it into F1”.


Dani Clos was born in Barcelona on the 23rd of October 1988. With a renowned trajectory in karting, Clos made his debut in single-seater racing in 2004 in Formula Renault Italia 2.0, going on to win the Championship in 2006. A year later he joined Renault’s F1 programme and took part in the Formula Three Euroseries. In 2008 he entered Williams F1’s young drivers’ programme and finished in 2nd in the 24H Barcelona race. In 2009 he made his debut in the GP2 series, with a 3rd place finish in Portimao being his best result. In his second year in GP2 he achieved his first win in Turkey alongside various podium finishes. Last year, Dani Clos took one win and two podiums in what was his third season as a GP2 driver. Also in 2011, he took part in the Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi with HRT F1 Team, completing total of 377.67km in one day and leaving a very good impression on the team. In 2012, Dani Clos joins the HRT Formula 1 Team as its official test driver.