The last qualifying session of 2011 that took place at Interlagos today was bittersweet for HRT F1 Team. It's been a day of relentless work and one where the team has significantly improved the cars' set-up during the third practice session and, in qualifying, Tonio Liuzzi and Daniel Ricciardo were able to beat both Virgins on the track and finish in 21st and 22nd respectively.
In order to not jeopardize tomorrow's race, the team decided to change the engine in Tonio's car after the qualifying session ended. As it is one of the eight authorized engines there has been no penalization.
The weather reports indicate that it might rain at the time of tomorrow's race so the team will have to be ready for every situation and finish the season in the best way.
"The car was a lot better than yesterday, especially the balance. That was a good way to finish the season, in terms of qualifying, ahead of the Virgins. It's also a good result for me after all the problems we had in Abu Dhabi, so it's a great feeling to be back in business with a car that is working a hundred per cent allowing us to fight with the others. We showed that when things are working we can perform and that's what we're here to do. It could be a crazy race tomorrow as there is a chance of rain so we'll look forward to that".
"In the morning we improved the overall setup and the qualifying session started quite well. With the first set of tyres and I was pretty happy with the balance. I thought we could really improve with the second set and made some changes to help try and achieve this but for whatever reason it didn't happen. We're in front of the Virgins which is good but I didn't improve on the second set of tyres which is frustrating because we could've achieved an even better result. Now we have to look ahead, think of tomorrow's race and try to do a better job".
We are ahead of both Virgins and closer than ever to Lotus
Team Principal: "Both drivers did a very good job today in qualifying. It has been our best qualifying session this season. I think we could have done even better if the cars would have been released in the right time frame in order to avoid traffic and to give the drivers the maximum laps.
We are ahead of both Virgins and closer than ever to Lotus which is very positive and this reflects the improved performance of the car in the last races. It seems that the chances of rain for tomorrow's race are quite high so we have to be ready for that too and try to finish the season on a good note".
Maximum temperature: Air 29ºC, Track 45ºC - cloudy
11.00-12.00 FORMULA 1 PRACTICE SESSION 3
Vitantonio Liuzzi - F111-001 #23 - 21st - (23 laps) - 1:17.143
Daniel Ricciardo - F111-002 #22 - 22nd - (23 laps) 1:17.296
14.00-15.00 FORMULA 1 QUALIFYING SESSION
Vitantonio Liuzzi - F111-001 #23 - 21st - (8 laps) - 1:16.631
Daniel Ricciardo - F111-002 #22 - 22nd - (9 laps) - 1:16.890