HRTF1 reserve driver Dani Clos will get more F1 mileage under his belt. The Spanish team has today announced that the Barcelona-born driver will again drive for them in Friday’s opening practice session for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.
Having driven for the team at the Spanish and British Grands Prix so far, Clos will again take over the car of Narain Karthikeyan for the opening session, before the Indian returns to duties over the rest of the weekend. Clos had limited mileage last time out at Silverstone, with his Friday practice running hampered by heavy showers.
Despite the mixed weather conditions, HRT enjoyed a better-than-expected showing by their own admission. While both Pedro de la Rosa and Karthikeyan finished in the final two positions, it marked the team’s fifth double-finish of the season.
On this basis, the team is hoping that it can deliver a further step up in competitiveness this weekend.
“We left Silverstone satisfied because we finished with both cars once more, proving a good reliability, and we performed better than expected,” HRT Team Principal Luis Pérez-Sala said in the team’s event preview.
“The F112 adapts better to the characteristics of the new Hockenheim, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be favourable for us.
“Our objective for this Grand Prix is to maintain our competitiveness and reliability so that we can continue to advance with the consolidation of the team. [This is] something that, step by step, I believe we’re achieving and it reflects in the efficiency of our work.”
De la Rosa – who has seen the chequered just once in his five Grand Prix appearances at Hockenheim – is a little more circumspect.
“Hockenheim is a circuit which is a little bit more favourable for us than Silverstone because it’s made up almost entirely of slow corners,” the Spaniard said.
“In England we anticipated a tough weekend and we performed better than expected, which is positive. In Germany we will work to continue in this manner and try to take things one step further.”
Team-mate Karthikeyan – who is yet to outqualify or out-race de la Rosa this season – is hopeful that HRT can take the fight to main rivals Marussia this weekend.
“In the last few races we have proved that our car is quick in qualifying but we haven’t yet shown it over a race distance,” he said. “We’ve been working on that and in Germany we are aiming to give our main rivals a fight throughout the entire race.”