HRT's challenging F1 2012 campaign continued at a hot and humid Hungaroring, but Pedro de la Rosa gave the young team reason to be optimistic by battling with Marussia's Timo Glock for the duration of the Grand Prix.
The Spanish outfit will now return to their base in Madrid where they will work on delivering their planned upgrades before the obligatory summer break, upgrades which they hope will take them ahead of their nearest rivals, Marussia, in the battle for eleventh place in the Constructor's Championship.
The team's lead driver, Pedro de la Rosa, spent the majority of the race embroiled in a battle with Marussia's Timo Glock, and though Glock just about had the edge towards the end of the race, the veteran Spaniard found plenty of positives to take into the mid season break.
“It was a tough but nice race," he said. "It was very hot but we had a good pace. We went for a two-stop strategy (and) at the end I had Glock in my sights and he was blocking his tyres a lot, but the race finished before I could overtake him. The blue flags didn't help much either and this time I was unable to pull it off.
“Overall, I'm happy but it was a survival race. For the second half of the season we've got a few upgrades planned which we hope can help us take that step forwards that we need to be ahead of Marussia. Now we have to rest a few days to return with our batteries recharged.”
De la Rosa's team mate, Narain Kartikheyan, was running with Glock early on, but was forced to retire with five laps remaining after a problem with his front suspension.
"I had a good start to the race, maintaining Pedro's pace and running ahead of Glock after his spin," he said. "But after the first pitstop he was running very strong on softs, I was on mediums, and he overtook me. It was also very complicated to manage the blue flags, especially because there were so many of them.
“With five laps to go, the car was steering to the right, it was getting worse, and coming out of turn 3 the steering broke, so we have to figure out what happened exactly. It was a tough race, but we must continue working to improve when we return from the summer break.”
by Philip Barclay