After the last couple of races, HRT F1 Team’s hopes were quite high coming into the penultimate grand prix of the season which took place in Abu Dhabi this evening. However, the final result hasn’t matched the Spanish team’s aspirations with Vitantonio Liuzzi finishing in 20th place and Daniel Ricciardo forced to retire with three laps to go because of a broken alternator.
For the race, the team decided to set two different strategies for the drivers. Daniel’s two-stop strategy ended up being the better one and the Australian driver maintained a quick and consistent rhythm from the beginning until his retirement because of an electric failure. Apart from the strategy, Tonio wasn’t comfortable with the balance of his car but steered the F111 to the finish line.
“The car was suffering from the same balance problems as yesterday. The team worked on the issue all night to try and fix it but, unfortunately, the car wasn’t perfectly balanced today. There was understeer on left turns and oversteer on right turns which meant that it was hard to achieve a good race pace. We got off to a good start and made up a few positions but it was a difficult challenge. Still, I pushed until the very end and got the car past the checkered flag which is a positive thing. It was a difficult race but we got a decent result”.
“I had a pretty good take off at the start, passing Glock and getting right behind Trulli, and then I stayed on the inside for turn 1, which was probably a mistake as Glock overtook me on the outside. There were a few moves that I should have maybe committed to a bit stronger. The pace was good but I lost a few places at the start and had to play catch up. I closed the gap with Tonio but then I couldn’t get past him. For the second stint I was able to keep up with Glock. I was then caught in traffic and, three laps from the end, my car stopped. It was a shame to end the race prematurely but, overall, the pace was good and I was setting some good times so that’s something to take into the next race”.
Clearly, this is not the result we were hoping for
Colin Kolles, Team Principal:
"Clearly, this is not the result we were hoping for at all after the performance level we've had over the past races but the drivers did everything they could. We had a good pace. Tonio went for a one stop strategy, which proved not to be the best one in the end. Daniel, instead, was going for two stops and carried a really consistent pace racing Glock throughout the race. Unfortunately, he couldn't finish the race three laps from the end because of an electrical problem. It is a real shame because he was doing a fantastic race. Now we have to look ahead to Brazil and expect not to have any of these problems again".
Weather: Maximum temperature: Air 26ºC, Track 31ºC
Race: 55 laps
Track distance: 5.554 km
Vitantonio Liuzzi F111-003 #23 - 20th
Daniel Ricciardo F111-002 #22 - DNF