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It was another important step forward for HRT Formula 1 Team today with Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan completing the 56 lap Chinese Grand Prix, as they did in Malaysia a few weeks ago, in 21st and 22nd position respectively. What's more pleasing for the team is that the distance with regards to the leading pack was reduced notably as De la Rosa came in one lap behind the winner and Narain two laps behind. A good tyre strategy, made up of two pit stops, and a much noted improvement in the team's pit stops lead the team to finish ahead of Heikki Kovalainen's Caterham. Therefore it's safe to say that the Spanish team comes away from Shanghai having met its main targets: finishing the race, accumulating miles for the F112, cutting down the gap to the front runners and continuity to optimize teamwork.
Pedro de la Rosa: "I'm happy with the race we did. It's true that the start wasn't great but I was able to maintain a good rhythm afterwards, especially with the medium tyres. We had an interesting fight with Kovalainen, which is always stimulating, and at the start we had the Marussias in our sights during various laps. Although I wasn't able to catch them in the race, we've got them right there and with a little bit of progress I'm confident we can get ahead of them. We leave here with a feeling that we've taken an important stride and that we're right in the fight. The overall assessment is that we've progressed in every aspect, the pit stops are better every time, our rhythm is improving and the team is more of a unit. It will be difficult to see much of a difference in Bahrain because there is no time to introduce upgrades but we can progress in terms of teamwork and set-up".
Narain Karthikeyan: "My start was also quite poor, so we still have to do some work on the start system because it's still new. It was quite difficult to drive on the option tyres because we had a problem and the car was moving a lot on the straight, we are yet to identify what the reason was for that so we'll have to look into it and make sure we overcome it. But on the primes the car balance was much better and it was easy to drive. We set out to finish the race this weekend in China and we've achieved it, so we have to be pleased about that. Now we hope to progress a little bit more in Bahrain next week".
Luis Perez-Sala, Team Principal: "We're satisfied because we've met the targets we set for this Grand Prix. This was mainly to finish the race with both cars but there are many other things that have improved in this race with regards to the last one. The rhythm of both drivers was good and the tyre changes worked well. It was good for us that it wasn't too hot and there's no doubt that we still have to polish many things but I'm very happy with the work done by the drivers and the rest of the team. I congratulate them but we mustn't relax because in only a few days we've got the next Grand Prix in Bahrain and it won't be easy".
Check out our Grand Prix gallery, here.
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