HRT boss Luis Perez-Sala has said he is confident his team can finish off the season on a 'good note'.
The Madrid-based outfit has remained locked to the back of the grid again in 2012, but despite that there has been some progress and the squad is now looking forward to the penultimate round in the 2012 F1 World Championship and the inaugural US Grand Prix at the purpose-built Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
“Once again we're heading to an unknown circuit, so the key will be to learn the circuit and adapt as quickly as possible,” Perez-Sala said in the countdown to this coming weekend's race. “All we know about this circuit is what the simulation department, who have been working on it for some time, have put across to us. According to them it's a very complete and spectacular track and that gives us extra motivation to face this penultimate test of the season.
“It's been an intense end of year but I'm confident that we can finish off on a good note which will enable us to make a positive overall assessment of this special season.”
Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan meanwhile are both keen to sample the track for the first time this Friday.
“The truth is we don't know much about this circuit yet. All I know about it is from what I've seen on the internet. The first thing that strikes you about this track is the number of gradient changes and how extreme they are,” de la Rosa remarked. “The important thing is for our car to adapt well to this circuit and we will dedicate Friday to learning the track and setting up the car.”
“The Circuit of The Americas looks like a promising layout, with lots of parts from different circuits around the world,” Karthikeyan chipped in, “but what I'm looking forward to most is the massively uphill turn one. These gradient changes add to the circuit's character as we've seen in India so it is going to be a challenging layout.
“As a driver it will be up to us to do the maximum number of laps possible on Friday to learn the circuit and get the base set-up right and then take it from there.
“I raced in F1 the last time it was in America, back at Indianapolis in 2005 and then NASCAR in 2010 and I really enjoyed racing there; the fan following is huge. So it would be great to see F1 being successful in such a promising market and hopefully with this new facility and an entertaining circuit, it will happen soon enough”.