Free practice sessions at the Spanish Grand Prix
Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona
Friday, 11th of May 2012
Weather: Sunny – Air 30ºC, Track 45ºC
Practice session 1:
Pedro de la Rosa F112-02 #22 23rd (19 laps) 1:29.107
Dani Clos F112-03 #23 24th (19 laps) 1:31.618
Practice session 2:
Pedro de la Rosa F112-02 #22 23rd (26 laps) 1:28.235
Narain Karthikeyan F112-03 #23 24th (2 laps)
The time has finally come and the highly anticipated Spanish Grand Prix finally got underway today with the first free practice sessions at the Circuit de Catalunya (4.655 km). The day started with Dani Clos lining up alongside Pedro de la Rosa, making it a historic moment for the team and Spanish motorsport as a whole. The Spanish duo were able to try out the aerodynamic upgrades and compare data until Clos’ car came to a halt as a result of an electrical issue towards the end of the session.
The team worked hard at midday to solve the problem and get Narain Karthikeyan out on the track on time for the second session. It wasn’t to be but the team continued to fight against the clock and, in the end, the Indian driver was able to get on the track with half an hour to go in the session. But the car said enough was enough immediately and Karthikeyan wasn’t even able to finish two laps. On his behalf, de la Rosa completed a total of 26 laps comparing the two aerodynamic options with the two tyre options.
Dani Clos: "I’m happy to have got into the car for the first time today, albeit for a short first encounter. The feeling I had when I left the pits and saw the Spanish crowd, whilst driving for a Spanish team alongside Pedro, was unbelievable. It was my first time in the new car and I wasn’t 100% comfortable since the car is built for Narain, so I had to adapt. We were able to carry out some aerodynamic work and try out some different things on the car so I’m pleased to have completed my job for the team”.
Pedro de la Rosa: "Today was the day to try out the aero package we’ve brought to Barcelona, so we completed various short stints to see how the car behaved with the changes. It was interesting because the car has effectively taken a step forwards, but we need an even bigger step, especially at such a tough circuit as this one where there are many quick turns and where you need to improve the balance of the car. There’s still plenty to do and a lot of data to analyze to have a better understanding of how to get the most out of these upgrades”.
Narain Karthikeyan: "I’m disappointed to have not got any laps under my belt today; it’s certainly not how I was aiming to start my weekend in Barcelona. Tomorrow will be an uphill struggle as we’ve only got one hour in the morning to get the car ready for qualifying in the afternoon, so we’re really going to have to get our heads down and work hard. Hopefully we can make up for the time lost today and turn things around tomorrow”.
Luis Pérez-Sala, Team Principal: "Today was a day of mixed feelings. On one hand it was very nice to see Dani make his debut but on the other hand we suffered a lot of electrical issues on Narain’s car. It’s a new chassis and there’s a lot of work to do with any new car so it’s not that strange for things to not work out first time round. It looks like the upgrades we’ve brought have worked well, which makes us optimistic for the future. Now we have to fix our immediate problems and work so that the weekend turns out the best way possible”.