Tag Archives: Pedro de la Rosa

F1Weekly podcast # 610


Also; Here are the final thoughts from HRT drivers after the Brazilian GP.

Pedro de la Rosa: “It’s been a great race and I enjoyed driving very much. You never knew what to expect as conditions were changing every lap. You had to keep focused as it was easy to make mistakes and we pulled it out quite well. It’s certainly been one of the most enjoyable races of my career. We have done a good job overall and I am quite happy with the outcome. We wanted to finish on a good note and I think we did. I also want to congratulate Vettel on his third title. And finally thank the team for their tireless work and commitment and also our sponsors and fans that have supported and pushed us from the beginning to the end of this amazing season.”
Narain Karthikeyan: “It has certainly been one of the most difficult races of the season given the changing weather and track conditions. But I am very satisfied with how we all dealt with it and the way we drove. It was a bit of a gamble as weather conditions kept on changing during the whole race and it was easy to loose tyre temperature or overuse them when the track was drying out. But we managed the situation well and got both cars across the finish line, which is a positive way to finish the season. I want to thank the whole team for the work they’ve done all year and I am very proud to be part of this team”.
Luis Pérez-Sala, Team Principal: “What an amazing and difficult race! The changing conditions made it quite challenging out there and both drivers stayed fully focused from the beginning to the end and put in a fantastic performance. The work that all mechanics and engineers did in the garage was also very good and both cars got to the checkered flag, which is the best way to finish this long, tough but rewarding season. I am really proud of every single team member, without whom this season wouldn’t have been possible. But also thank our sponsors, partners and fans alike for their continuous support”.

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

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.

Motorsports Mondial


Photo: lotus f1

HRT F1 team Chinese Grand Prix Preview

It was mission accomplished for HRT Formula 1 Team in Malaysia a couple of weeks ago after both cars qualified and completed their first race of the season after a hard start. The F112 accumulated many kilometres and data on the track and the engineers had a lot of information to work on during the two week period between the race in Sepang and China. Having met the team’s targets last time out, HRT now aims to progress from where it left things in Malaysia and continue improving.

The Shanghai International Circuit is made up of sixteen turns, with nine being right-handers and seven left-handers. Cars reach maximum speeds on the 1.2km straight between corners 13 and 14, where they try and take advantage of the length of the straight to overtake. In China, the team will have a new member on board, Ma Qing Hua, who will be joining the outfit for the first time as a member of the driver development programme at his local Grand Prix.

Pirelli have elected their soft and medium tyres for this grand prix.

Pedro de la Rosa, #22: “After these first two Grands Prix we arrive in China much better prepared, with more mileage and having learned a lot, especially after the Malaysian GP. All the data gathered in the last race is very important for us, as we mustn’t forget that we didn’t have a preseason. Now we have a better insight on the areas where we must improve, but the most important thing in this initial stage is to finish races. That is the prime objective in order to learn and improve race by race. The hardest part comes now but we are better prepared. China is a circuit where I have always done well and a place I know well, both in dry and wet conditions. It’s not a particularly hard track for the car or the driver, but aerodynamics are fundamental”.

Narain Karthikeyan, #23: “We took a step forward in Malaysia and our aim is definitely to carry the momentum into China and rest of the season. Although we managed to finish the race, cooling was still an issue at Sepang and once we have it sorted out completely we’ll be able to unlock some more performance from the car. The back straight at the Shanghai circuit is of course one of the longest on the calendar and the tightening first corner is uniquely challenging since the corner entry is in top gear and by the time you exit you’re in second. Plus there are a fair amount of technical slow-speed corners as well, and the high-speed direction change of turns 7/8. Given these mixed characteristics, it is a demanding circuit for traction, aero and braking stability in equal measures”.

Luis Pérez-Sala, Team Principal: “The start to the season was very complicated because we were behind schedule with regards to the other teams. We had to put in a colossal effort to be able to get on track in Australia and improve our performance just one week later in Malaysia. There’s still plenty to do and many areas to improve on to be where we should be but at least in these two weeks we’ve had a bit more time to analyse data, prepare and recharge batteries, therefore I’m confident that we’re arriving in China in a much better situation. We mustn’t forget that the F112 is only taking its first steps and, as of today, what we must do is progress without stopping. In Shanghai we’ll have some small updates to optimize cooling and aerodynamics, and the target for this weekend is to check that these adjustments work. To sum up, we have to get more out of the car but must als o improve on teamwork and coordination”.

Motorsports Mondial

Photo: HRTF1

Ermestel, new official supplier to HRT F1 Team

Ermestel, a Spanish company specialized in datacenter infrastructure transformation based on technologies such as Virtualization and Cloud Computing, has reached an agreement with HRT Formula 1 Team by which it will become an IT Official Supplier to the team for the next three years. The team has decided to trust in the sound experience and guarantee of the integrator’s IT projects to face the new racing season.

For the 2012 season, together with Spanish driver Pedro de la Rosa, HRT is working towards being as competitive as possible in such a demanding world as is the pinnacle of motorsport and, along with national companies such as Ermestel, continuing to grow the “Spain” brand and helping to increase its international recognition.

Ermestel, through this agreement, will manage the entire IT infrastructure of the Spanish team whilst also supplying the team with a disaster recovery system.

Pedro Tortosa, Ermestel CEO: “Formula 1 represents excellence in technological innovation and style and I believe that those are values that perfectly suit Ermestel. HRT Formula 1 Team transmitted to us the importance of counting with a great technological partner, since without this base, the most visible aspects such as the car and the driver wouldn’t function properly. We are delighted that they have decided to trust in us for the management of the IT platform, which in such an innovative and standout world as is Formula 1, represents a great responsibility and a thrilling challenge that gives us the opportunity to prove our national leadership in innovative technologies”.

Luis Pérez-Sala, HRT F1 Team Team Principal: “In a sport that is extremely competitive and demanding as is Formula 1, everything has to work quickly and to perfection. Ermestel’s contribution will be fundamental for our systems to operate with the required performance and reliability. HRT is a young team with a long road yet ahead, but thanks to this alliance with another innovative Spanish company we will continue to grow as a team”.


Motorsports Mondial

Photo: suttonimages

Luis Pérez-Sala, appointed as new Team Principal of HRT F1 Team

Spanish former Formula 1 driver Luis Pérez-Sala (Barcelona, 15th on May 1959) takes on, as of today, the role of Team Principal of HRT F1 Team after the exit of the head sporting figure from the Spanish team.

With the naming of Luis Pérez-Sala at the fore of the team, HRT F1 Team closes one chapter and begins a new one, which will hopefully come with new successes and satisfactions. Having Pedro de la Rosa at the helm, headquarters in Spain and the design of next season’s car being carried out internally, this is an exciting project although there is still much work to do before the 2012 season begins in Australia on the 18th of March.

Saúl Ruiz de Marcos, HRT F1 Team CEO: “From the moment we took control of the team last July, the first thing we did was to study and value where we were, whilst also set ourselves a target and establish a strategy. We have been working discretely but relentlessly towards this for the last few months. We’ve always made it clear that our priorities were the car, the headquarters and our drivers. The car is evolving, Pedro has been a great asset to the team and we have always wanted to settle the team in Spain and have everybody working under one roof. Since we began working with Luis (Pérez-Sala) our connection has been great. Now he takes on a much more key role in the team but the decision was an easy one given his knowledge and his way of doing things. It is the best decision we could make. I would like to also thank Colin (Kolles) and Manfredi (Ravetto) for their work and dedication in these two years that the team has existed and I wish them the very best for the future”.

Luis Pérez-Sala, Team Principal of HRT F1 Team: “This naming is an honor but also a great responsibility. I joined the team as an advisor to the new owners and to contribute with my experience in any possible way. We had to establish a base from which to grow slowly and we are now seeing the first rewards of that work. But we mustn’t lose our perspective and be aware that assuming responsibilities such as designing the car or moving the headquarters to Spain are huge tasks and we still have a lot of work ahead. We must be patient and keep in mind that we cannot expect to achieve great success in the short term, but we can take a team forward that we can all feel proud of. The simple fact that Spain has a team in the pinnacle of motorsports is already a great feat; we’re a part of the G12. And that, apart from being an honor, means a greater development to the structure and everything surrounding it”.

Luis Pérez-Sala profile

Luis Pérez-Sala was born in Barcelona on the 15th of May of 1959. He made his first steps in motorsport in karting and in 1980 he won the Spanish Renault Cup. The following year, alongside Luis Villamil, Pérez-Sala won the 2 hours Renault 5. In 1983 he began to compete on the international stage in the Alfasud Sprint Cup and one year later he competed in Formula 3 as a part of team Campsa. From there he moved onto F3000 where he was runner-up in 1987 and one year later, in 1988, he made the definitive step into Formula 1 with Minardi. He completed two whole seasons with the Italian outfit and achieved his best result at the 1989 British Grand Prix where he finished in sixth place, helping him to score one point in Formula 1. In his first season with Minardi, Luis teamed up alongside Adrián Campos making it the first time ever that two Spanish drivers coincided in a same Formula 1 team.

After abandoning the pinnacle of motorsport, Luis returned to Spain to compete in the national touring car championships. He won the Spanish touring car championships in 1991 and 1993 and finished runner-up at the 1999 Lamborghini Europa Trophy. In 2000 he took the 24 hours of Barcelona title in the diesel category and in 2003 and 2004 he won the Spanish GTB Cup alongside Manel Cerqueda. In 2005 he won the 24 hours of Barcelona once again, but this time in the main category and the following year he ended in second. In 2008 he was runner-up in the Spanish GT championship and won the Trofeo Ibérico along with Manel Cerqueda Jr. in what would be his final season before retiring.

Since 1990 he combined his sporting career with work as a lecturer, commentator and technical analyst for different media channels (RTVE, El País, TV3, Grand Prix, etc.). He is also specialized in all kinds of instruction and formation courses related with technical motorsport formation on tracks for competition drivers, and he is also a part of the Joves Pilots del Circuit de Catalunya program. A program backed by the Generalitat of Catalunya, the Circuit de Catalunya, the RACC and the Catalan Motorsport Federation and that in the 2011 season has backed four drivers: Daniel Juncadella (F3 Euroseries) who recently became the first Spanish driver to ever win at the prestigious F3 Macau Grand Prix, Víctor Colomé (French F4 Championships), Gerard Barrabeig (European and Italian F-Abarth) and Álex Riberas (Eurocup FR 2.0). Other drivers such as Jaime Alguersuari, Miquel Molina (DTM), Dani Clos (GP2), Albert Costa (Formula Renault 3.5) and Miki Monr&aa cute;s (Formula 2) have also gone through the program in previous seasons.

In July of 2011, Pérez-Sala returned to Formula 1 as a sporting advisor to HRT F1 Team where he is now the head sporting figure after being named Team Principal.