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The Bahrain International Circuit hosted the first day of practice sessions today at the fourth event of the season and HRT Formula 1 Team proved its progression once again by completing the planned programme to perfection throughout the 180 minutes of practice. Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan completed a total of 47 and 50 laps respectively to finish the day in 21st and 22nd position.
With barely any time to rest since last Sunday's race in Shanghai, the team reacted to the change in conditions excellently. The upgrades brought to this Grand Prix to optimize the cooling of the engine also worked as expected and neither of the two cars showed signs of excessive overheating. This enabled De la Rosa and Karthikeyan to work on the set-up of their cars, both with medium and soft tyres, achieving a substantial improvement to the F112's performance which is important ahead of tomorrow's definitive session.
Pedro de la Rosa: "We can say we met our target for the day which was none other than to check that the changes we've made to the cooling of the car worked very well, which reassures us because it means we can face the weekend with guarantees. Leaving that aside, we suffered quite a bit of degradation to the rear tyres, but I think everyone faced that. That is due to the heat and the type of track. We tested soft and medium tyres and for the long run we divided our work with Narain, him on mediums and myself on softs, to cover both options and see which one is best. We improved the car's balance as the day wore on and I'm satisfied but tomorrow we should be able to fine-tune things a bit more".
Narain Karthikeyan: "Today we tried out a lot of different options to save the tyres because it's very hot out there and they degrade quickly. And we worked on that objective in these two practice sessions. Apart from the work with both Pirelli options, we covered a lot of laps to see if the car is overheating, but it seems to be doing fine. Tomorrow we will change things a bit and adapt the car for the race and, although the weather conditions are a bit extreme, it responded well today, and hopefully we can keep that going for the rest of the weekend".
Luis Perez-Sala, Team Principal: "It was a positive day because we were able to make the most of the whole day to work on the set-up. And also because it looks like the solution we brought to this Grand Prix to improve the cooling is working well. This is one of the most demanding circuits for the engine and it was important to fix it. We're still progressing and working with much more coordination. Every day we have more rhythm, both the car and the team, and that makes us come closer to our objective with every day that passes"
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