HRT team principal Colin Kolles says he is hopeful of an improved showing from the Spanish backmarkers in Singapore, with a range of upgrades planned for the 14th round of the season.
The team heads to Singapore keen to forget the final round of the European season, where Tonio Liuzzi was involved in a first corner pile-up and technical issues with Daniel Ricciardo's car saw him pushed off the grid – eventually joining in a number of laps down after repairs in the pits.
After the disappointment of Monza, the team will hope for more luck this weekend on the streets of Singapore, with a two car finish the aim as a number of upgrades are introduced.
“Singapore is always a highly demanding race for the teams, drivers and cars,” Kolles said. “Racing and working at night under high temperatures and humidity make it a very special one. Everybody needs to be very focused and adapt to these circumstances but the positive is that we will be working in European times, which will certainly help.
“After the disappointment of Monza, we are ready to move on and I am sure that both drivers will do their best to put in a good performance. We expect Tonio to take the most out of his experience and push the car and the team, while Daniel should keep on improving and take another step forward on a track that he has never raced before. We are bringing some updates on the aero side like a modified engine cover and a new underfloor that we hope will help us to close the gap to our rivals.
“Last year we couldn't make it to the end but this time, with everybody's effort, I am sure we can hope f or a two-car finish in Singapore next Sunday.”
Rookie driver Ricciardo will be making his first appearance on the streets of Singapore and the Aussie said he was excited about his first F1 race on a street circuit.
“I haven't raced at the Marina Bay
Street Circuit before, although I was there last year as a reserve driver,” he said. “But I've spent some time on the simulator and it looks like an interesting and fun circuit with a lot of corners. It's quite a confusing track but should be fun. I like street circuits and am yet to do one with HRT so it should be a good challenge.
“Physically it will be difficult, the drivers say it's the toughest race all year, because it's so humid and a long race with a lot of corners. It will be nice to race at night because I haven't done so since I was competing in go-karts around eight years ago. I'm really looking forward to it because it is also closer to home.”