De la Rosa: We will be stronger
Pedro de la Rosa thinks that HRT will be more competitive when F1 resumes in Spain after having time to work on their car during the three week break.
By William Esler
Last Updated: 28/04/12 2:28pm
Pedro de la Rosa thinks that HRT will be more competitive when Formula 1 resumes in Spain after having time to work on their car during the three week break.
The team have opted not to run at the Mugello test next week, preferring instead to focus on the team's relocation to Madrid.
However they do plan to bring upgrades to Barcelona and test them during the free practice sessions.
And the Spaniard thinks the extra time spent back in the factory will give the team a bigger performance boost than testing with the rest of the F1 grid in Italy.
"I think now we have some time to go back to base, and when I say base, it is our new base, which is important because finally we have our home," de la Rosa told Autosport.
"We need to still develop the car, but we can now spend time in the wind tunnel, and spend time optimising the set-up. We know our weaknesses, and these few races have been like the pre-season for us. We were three months too late and have been paying the price for that.
"I think we have a solid structure underneath us now, and the result in Bahrain was an unexpected bonus because nobody was expecting us to outqualify a Marussia or finish races like in Malaysia.
"I am looking forward to the rest of the season, because we have more time to develop what is a solid platform. We have to improve, but we have the people and the factory now.
"There is stability that we didn't have a few months ago - or even a few weeks ago. It is a new start - now we can say we are starting properly."
His team-mate Narain Karthikeyan says that even if the team did travel to Mugello, it would be a waste of time as they have no new parts to test.
"We are one of the smallest teams in the paddock and our aim is to close the gap to Marussia and the other teams immediately in front of us," he told the Times of India.
"We would have had nothing new to test in Mugello as the upgrades to the car will only be ready by the Spanish GP a week later. So hopefully, we can keep improving the car and by the time the Indian GP rolls around in October, we should be a bit more competitive."