Forty-one-year old Pedro de la Rosa predicts the small Spanish HRT team will continue to improve during the second half of the 2012 Formula 1 World Championship.
“We’ve made steady progress but now we’re at a key moment and we must take another step forward. My assessment is very positive because we set ourselves realistic targets, we’ve accomplished them and we’re, more or less, where we expected to be,” De la Rosa said in an interview posted on Formula1.com.
“We started the season outside the 107% in Australia and we’ve reached peaks of 103.6% in Monaco and our best qualifying result which was 103.4% in Valencia,” he continued.
“In our case, it’s going to be easier to improve in this second half of the season than it will be for a big team that is striving for perfection because we’ve got much more room for improvement. In my opinion we’re doing a good job with much less people than other teams".
“No one has stopped pushing, no matter what the situation. It’s not easy being at the back and finishing last. But what motivates us every day is that we see that we’re improving and we believe that we won’t be at the back for long. It’s very nice to see that, despite the fact that it’s been very tough, we believe in that step forward,” the Spaniard explained.
De la Rosa also exlained the strengths and weaknesses of the Cosworth-powered F112. “Its main strength is that it has a great mechanical platform of suspension and chassis and it has proved it at circuits where that is important. It is also reliable. Its weakness is its lack of downforce compared to other cars. We know exactly where we lose time and why, so we must work on that. If we manage to qualify inside the 103% it will be a complete success. Especially doing so without KERS and a much less effective DRS system than the other teams,” he declared.
“The circuit I’m most looking forward to is Monza because it has long straights and strong braking corners, and our car performs very well in this kind of circuits. The ones I’m least looking forward to are Suzuka and Spa because they’re going to be very complicated for us,” De la Rosa concluded.