De la Rosa: 2012 HRT is 100 percent new
4 March 2012 – Pedro de la Rosa admits that he did not expect HRT to test its new car before Melbourne, but is keen to enjoy a filming day in Barcelona on Monday. The experienced Spaniard is particularly keen as this year’s F112 chassis is a completely new car, as opposed to a development from last season’s version.
2012 sees the Barcelona man make his return to the sport, having last driven in a one-off race for Sauber at last year’s Canadian Grand Prix.
“We knew already that it was going to be very difficult, but I think we still have a strong chance of running on Monday,” 41-year-old de la Rosa told GPUpdate.net.
“It’s still not confirmed but it looks likely and that is fantastic. If we manage to do a few laps just before Australia – just a few laps, not anymore – it will already be extremely good to sort any potential problems on a brand-new car. Also, from a driver’s perspective, you can make sure your seat is in good shape for Australia. So I’m looking forward to Monday.”
He stressed that a run would be highly helpful, as the car is so new.
“If you look at the grid, most of the teams have evolutions from last year,” de la Rosa continued. “This car is absolutely 100 percent new and that makes it even more critical for us to do a few laps on Monday. I am quite comfortable. I knew when I came here that it was going to be tough. My personal opinion is that we would not do any kilometres at all before the first race, so if we manage to get some in before Australia we are happy with that.
“After that, we just have to concentrate race by race. We have a new team and very good people. It is small in size, but we can improve race by race and our aim is really to grow. Let’s be patient. Let’s not get carried away by what happens in the first few races. We know the first six months will be, let’s say somehow difficult, but after that things will come easier.”
If Monday’s filming run can happen, the squad will be able to tour on old Pirelli tyres for 200 kilometres (125 miles) at the Circuit de Catalunya. Fellow back-of-the-grid team Marussia will not run its own new chassis until Melbourne, having also failed to pass all FIA crash tests in time to test on-track over the winter period.