- Belgian Grand Prix
De la Rosa predicts tough weekend for HRT
Pedro de la Rosa admits that HRT is in for a tougher weekend than normal at Spa because of a number of factors not helping the team.
Following a very wet Friday which saw very little meaningful running completed in either session, the rest of the Belgian Grand Prix weekend is set to be dry. De la Rosa says that he'd been hoping for the changeable conditions this weekend but based on the weather forecast he is not expecting any external help in the form of rain.
"Unfortunately it looks dry," de la Rosa told ESPNF1. "It's quite strange when you look at the weather forecast for Spa and see 0% (rain chance) on Saturday and Sunday, so I must admit that I think they'll be right because otherwise if you have any doubt then you but 5% or 10% or whatever. So it looks dry, and this will not help us because we need action. Dry races are more predictable than wet races and changeable races like we've had here when they start wet, they go dry and finish wet again for example would be fantastic. It's easier to make a mistake, yes, but it's also more possible to get a good result."
Predictably for a back-of-the-grid team, de la Rosa highlighted a lack of high speed downforce as the main problem for HRT.
"We think our biggest weakness will be like in Silverstone which was high speed grip. High speed corners are normally quite painful for us and we lose quite a lot of time in these type of corners. We are very good at low speed and braking stability - for example in Canada which is mainly only braking and chicanes - but here we have a lot of high speed corners which on paper don't suit our car. However, we have the low downforce and medium downforce configuration on the car which worked very well for us in Canada so we are still hopeful that we'll be slightly better than at Silverstone."
Another factor that de la Rosa thinks will hurt HRT this weekend is Pirelli's tyre choice, with the medium and hard nominated.
"For us, the softer the better because we have to generate the bulk temperature and the surface temperature and the more downforce you have the easier it is to generate the temperature in the tyres. So this is something that definitely is not our preference, but we will cope with it as well as we can.
"It looks tough, let's not be unrealistic. It looks tough because it's a high-speed track with many high-speed corners and the tyre compounds are on the hard side for us … but that's on paper; we're also hopeful of the low downforce configuration which worked very well for us in Canada, let's hope it works here as well."