Pedro de la Rosa will take in his 100th F1 grand prix this weekend in Italy and he has said he is 'certain' HRT will be more competitive at Monza.

The Spaniard finished 18th and last in Belgium last weekend, but despite that he has been encouraged by the progress made this year and the way the Madrid-based squad has closed the gap to Marussia.

"Making it to 100 grands prix is something very special and I'm very motivated ahead of Italy, not only because of the 100 mark, but because I'm certain that we can be even more competitive," he said. "Monza is a similar circuit to Canada, where maximum speed and brake stability are important; and these are our strengths.

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"I love consecutive races because I like continuity and, besides, Monza is one of my favourite circuits because it's very different to the rest. So, because of all this, I'm really excited ahead of this grand prix."

HRT team principal Luis Perez-Sala meanwhile also believes the Italian GP could be a relatively good one for them.

"Once again we arrive at an emblematic circuit; a classic on the calendar. Monza is the quickest track in the championship and we come with good sensations since, given the nature of the F112, our car should adapt well to this circuit," he added. "Our maximum speed is good and so is our braking so I'm confident that we will be able to perform well.

"It will also be a special race because Pedro will be celebrating his 100th Formula 1 grand prix and we're quite excited about that. Very few drivers are able to stay up there for that long and gain the respect of everyone in the way that Pedro has.

"He's an admirable driver and person and we're extremely proud for him to reach this mark with us."