HRT press release
Maximum temperature: Air 32ºC, Track 35ºC – Hot and humid
The Singapore Grand Prix, only night race on the calendar, got underway today at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. Narain Karthikeyan got behind the wheel of the F111 again for the first practice session which was delayed due to repair work on some of the kerbs. The Indian driver made the most of his time on the track and finished in 24th, just behind teammate Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian, who was driving at this track for the first time, improved his time by almost five seconds in the second practice session helping him to finish just ahead of his teammate Vitantonio Liuzzi. The Italian driver only came out for the afternoon session.
“It was fantastic to be back in the car today. I brushed off all the cobwebs after two and a half months without driving. It was a good session even though being a new track for me it was not ideal. But I’m very happy with how the testing went, especially since I was faster than Daniel until the end. On the last lap I had a really good split but encountered some traffic and couldn’t finish the time. It’s a shame that the session was cut short because we couldn’t do many laps and, with the red flags, I couldn’t really get into a rhythm. But I was pretty much on the pace and that is quite positive”.
“I’m quite pleased with how the session went. We had to adjust a few things set-up wise; there was a bit of oversteering at the front end and we had to modify the balance a bit. We went into a bit of traffic every time we were on soft or supersoft tyres so we couldn’t get achieve the best lap time but I’m positive ahead of the weekend. With the 5 place penalty, there’s not much we can strive for tomorrow so we have to focus on Sunday’s race”.
“I knew beforehand that this Grand Prix would be a big challenge and it didn’t let me down but it is really hot and the circuit doesn’t create much air flow; it’s like a sauna in there! I have really enjoyed it because the track is good: tight and challenging. You can’t even blink. Today was positive but we are yet a little bit off our closest rivals. We need to try and close that gap for tomorrow’s qualifying. Racing at night is not much different in terms of visibility, but it is really nice seeing the lights reflecting off the cars and the sparks flying. I’m enjoying my first taste of night racing”.
In the afternoon we also ran some tests with supersoft tyres
Colin Kolles, Team Principal:
“Today has been a positive day for the team. All three drivers and the whole team in the garage have worked well and we have completed the programme we had scheduled for today. Although the first session was shortened and interrupted a couple of times by red flags, both Karthikeyan and Ricciardo made the most of their time out on track. After a long time without racing, Narain was solid and consistent and Daniel was getting used to the track and later on set some good times in the afternoon. Tonio was back in for the second session and completed the set programme of different configurations. In the afternoon we also ran some tests with supersoft tyres without doing a qualifying simulation, so I’m confident that we can improve on our times tomorrow when the track conditions will also get better”.
18.30-19.30 FORMULA 1 PRACTICE SESSION 1
Narain Karthikeyan - F111-002 - #23 - 24th - (18 laps) - 1:59.214
Daniel Ricciardo - F111-003 - #22 - 23rd - (17 laps) - 1:59.169
21.30-23.00 FORMULA 1 PRACTICE SESSION 2
Vitantonio Liuzzi - F111-002 - #23 - 24th - (26 laps) - 1:55.198
Daniel Ricciardo - F111-003 - #22 - 23rd - (29 laps) - 1:54.754