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De la Rosa: HRT at a 'key moment'
2 August 2012
Pedro de la Rosa believes HRT is now at a 'key moment' and he is looking for the team to take 'another step forward' in the second half of the season.
Although the Spaniard has been pleased with the way the squad has progressed since failing to qualify in Australia and maintains they have achieved what they set out to so far, he admits there is still much room for improvement.
Indeed while he has only had two retirements this year, to date his best finish is the 17th place he achieved in Valencia and he will no doubt be hoping for further signs of forward momentum when the F1 2012 World Championship resumes in Belgium at the end of this month.
“They've been seven very intense months, with a spectacular amount of team work, which I've taken on with a lot of hunger and desire,” he said. “We've made steady progress but now we're at a key moment and we must take another step forward.
“My assessment is very positive though, because we set ourselves realistic targets, we've accomplished them and we're, more or less, where we expected to be. We've still got to improve more, but we have nine races ahead in which to do so.”
So is the team really on course? “We're accomplishing our objectives and with flying colours at times,” he maintained. “We started outside the 107 per cent in Australia and we've reached peaks of 103.6 per cent in Monaco and our best qualifying result which was 103.4 per cent in Valencia.
“That was a very ambitious target that we set ourselves because, for us, to be close to 104 per cent is a realistic objective. We've surpassed it and have potential to do more.
“In our case, it's going to be easier to improve in this second half of the season than it will be for a big team that is striving for perfection because we've got much more room for improvement.
“For now we've accomplished our objectives but there are still many races to set ourselves more ambitious targets.”
Pressed on what he would consider a success at the end of this year, the 41-year-old added that getting within 103 percent of the top teams would be the optimum with the F112.
“If we manage to qualify inside the 103 per cent it will be a complete success, especially doing so without KERS and a much less effective DRS system than the other teams. But it's going to be very difficult because at the last Grand's Prix the difference has been a bit bigger.
“If we manage to be under 104 per cent with the aero package for Singapore it will be a great finish to the season and the necessary momentum to start next season strongly,” he summed-up.
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