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HRT extracting just 50% of car's potential - Perez-Sala

ESPN Staff
August 9, 2012 « Ferrari has plenty to learn about 2012 tyres - Hamashima | Whitmarsh won't stand for FOTA re-election »
The HRT F112 has not qualified higher than 20th this year © Sutton Images
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HRT team principal Luis Perez-Sala believes his team has only got 50% of the potential performance out of this year's car.

HRT is currently last in the constructors' championship with a best finishing position of 15th, but Perez-Sala says there is much more to come from the car after difficult start to the season in which it missed testing and failed to qualify for the opening race.

"I think that, overall, the F112 is a car that has given quite a good result, keeping in mind how it started," he said. "In winter I had a lot of doubts, because the car was handed to us and we didn't have enough time to review it. The proceedings and deadlines weren't the usual ones and that forced us to go quicker to make up for lost time and organize the different parties implicated in the project to make it on time.

"But even with all these obstacles, the car has given good results. It has a good base and that's its biggest strength. It's a reliable car with good mechanical resistance and it offers a lot of possibilities for its development. I'd say we're at 50% of its potential and we can still extract another 50%, mainly in aerodynamics."

Perez-Sala revealed that the team would bring an update to the car in Singapore to try to extract more of its potential.

"We have some upgrades prepared for the Singapore Grand Prix. As a small team we can't afford small upgrades every two or three races because the cost of an upgrade or creating a new piece for a small upgrade is very high. Besides the aerodynamic study, you have to produce the parts and that also implies a lot of time. So we have to make the most of any changes and have a very clear idea of the direction we want to take for those upgrades to be productive."

And the team's objective is to continue to qualify within 104% and 105% of the best Q1 time for the remainder of the season.

"For me it would be a success to maintain the reliability we have and improve our performance a little bit more. To achieve this I hope that the aero package that we will introduce after the summer will help us to take the next step. The objective is to stay between the 104 and 105% and have the project for 2013 prepared. If we achieve all of this I'd be satisfied. Besides I hope that the team is fully functioning, with the design and aerodynamics department working at the Caja Mágica, although to achieve this we need a bit more time."