Circuit de Catalunya
Montmeló, 22nd of May of 2011 - Circuit de Catalunya
Colin Kolles, Hispania Racing Team Principal:
“Tonio started the race very well, he was in a good position, improving lap by lap and creating a bigger gap with the cars behind him.
Unfortunately, after the first pit stop, we noticed that the gear box wasn’t running properly so we had to change the gearbox mode. We started losing pressure and had to stop due to a gearbox failure. We don’t know what happened on Narain’s car, we will have to look into it and assess the situation but getting over the finish line is positive. Tonio’s start to the race is proof that we have made the next step and can compete with our closest rivals on the track”.
Narain Karthikeyan, Driver #22:
“It was a very hard race. The tyres were degrading a lot, especially the rear ones making it very difficult to drive. The first few laps were all right but then the rear started giving me a lot of problems. I also had some trouble with my seat, I burnt my back and at times the pain was unbearable. The positive aspect was that I finished the race although we didn’t get much out of it. We need to find out why we were off the pace, we thought our race pace would improve this weekend but that has not been the case. Qualifying was good but our race pace wasn’t good unlike in previous races. Perhaps this is because of the drastic difference between prime and option compounds which made the setup very difficult and resulted in massive oversteer. So we now need to work on this”.
Vitantonio Liuzzi, Driver #23:
“I had a great start to the race passing a few cars into the first corner just like at the last grand prix. Everything was going fine, the balance of the car was good, I was ahead of both Virgin cars and pulling away in the first stint. This confirmed the step forward we’d predicted from the last race. After the first pit stop, with the second set of tyres we lost some grip in the rear just like in qualifying. I also started feeling issues with the upshift, it was getting worse and worse and eventually had to stop.
We have to investigate why this happened but it’s still too early to say what the reason was. It’s a real shame because without this issue we could’ve had better pace for the second stint and fight with the Virgins until the end. Narain finished the race which is always positive because it means we can have more data but it’s now time to start thinking about racing and not just finishing because we’re growing and must try and get ahead of Virgin”.
Weather: Sunny – Air 27ºC, Track 44ºC
Race: 66 laps
Track distance: 4.655km
Narain Karthikeyan F111-03 #22 21st
Vitantonio Liuzzi F111-02 #23 DNF