What have you learned after two F1 Grand Prix?
It has been a steep learning curve to be out there with a Formula one battling against established teams.No other team has taken their car to the track without a testing session
No testing at all?
No, the car has done no winter testing
What was your conclusion after Melbourne, the second GP of the season?
Melbourne was a step forward with two cars in the finish
What will make the team HRT F1 Team progress?
The more miles we do the best the HRT F1 Team will progress
What impressed you the most until now?
Our team mechanics who worked two nights straight in Bahrain and Melbourne, left the track only a very short time to shower and were back at the track. A really fantastic effort from them and for the team we learnt a lot.
What is the HRT F1 car like?
There is so much to learn. I had never been lapped in my life in any of the younger series I competed in – As of Bahrain, for Bruno Senna and for me, there was so much to learn, including driving under the rain with an F1, which was difficult in Melbourne. The challenge was to keep the car at the limit and on the track.
Where is the pace going to come from?
The pace is going to come from the package. We are both rookies in the team we have to learn. In qualifying it is critical. We have to think about everything including getting the tires at the optimal temperature. In GP2 series or GP2 Asia the system was different. In Melbourne, I realize that was too slow on the outlap. I dropped a few seconds. It was un-necessary. Now, after we studied the data with the engineers, I know what to do. I know, but there is a lot to learn.
What do you have to still learn for instance and what was your first success?
We have to learn how to get more down-force level. Mechanically, the first step was to get the car to the finish.
What challenge HRT F1 Team, Hispania racing has achieved then?
We are the first drivers in history of racing to have gone to qualifying not knowing the car and how tricky it would go. There was no bad experience in the end. We did not get the car off-track. You can see how with Bruno Senna (HRT F1) we are going, always a bit higher.
At least, the car is together. And when we think about it, we only had two times two 90 minutes max of racing two qualifying sessions and only six free practice sessions where we do not run all the time.
Honestly, I have never met a situation like that where a driver comes from another series to qualifying with no testing. It is a first in the history of motorsport
Where does your team stand in terms of reliability?
Reliability is fantastic. It is much more complicated for us than for other teams as our engineers and mechanics have to foresee the problems before they arise on-site to us.
Do you feel you started behind?
Because of no preseason testing, we started so far behind in terms of competition. We need a bit of time to get where the other teams are after six weeks of pre-season testing.
What is your goal this weekend?
This weekend we have to be in a position to chase either Lotus or Virgin. At the moment there is no really performance upgrade happening to get cars. We have a good team of people on-board. We have Geoff Willis now. We have lots of people from BMW, from Renault, with decent F1 experience on the team. They are putting everything together. There is good enough people to prepare the program.
What is your goal for the rest of the season?
I am not here to be on the back of the grid for the remaining of the season. But it is clear, the first half of the season will be tough. The second half should be better. In Melbourne – there were two seconds between the top teams and HRT F1 Team. It is a big gap. We are trying to work on it. Wait and see. We are trying to close a gap.