de la Rosa: MP4-22 should suit Barcelona.
Tue 08 May, 03:32 PM
McLaren-Mercedes third driver, Pedro de la Rosa has said that while he can't be sure how the Woking-based team will get on this weekend in Spain he is convinced that they should be aiming high.
Speaking prior to his countries round of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, de la Rosa added that their form in Malaysia, when race drivers' Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton finished 1-2, bodes well for this Sunday, as the Circuit de Catalunya is similar in some respects to Sepang.
"Our expectation is to keep the Malaysia spirit! We have to aim high. I think we can this year - and therefore we should," he stated. "I hope the MP4-22 will work well in Barcelona, but we will have to wait and see.
"We know the track and traditionally we have always been very quick, but I cannot be sure about it until we are racing. We've been working very hard, for me Barcelona is the most demanding circuit for the car, including the engine, aerodynamics and the mechanical side. If the car is quick here, it will be quick elsewhere. We were [quick] at Malaysia, which is another track which is similar to Barcelona."
Asked about the changes to the Circuit de Catalunya, which have had a mixed response from the drivers', de la Rosa noted that in his view the alterations are positive. Indeed he reckons that the addition of the chicane at the end not only increases safety but should also help in terms of giving everyone an extra opportunity to overtake, something that should make the racing less processional.
"The biggest change is the new chicane and this will be the first time we are racing with it. Basically we have lost the two high speed corners that lead you into the main straight. I think it is positive, because it means you will be able to get close to the guy in front and if you have a quicker car you can actually overtake into turn one," he explained.
"One of the characteristics of the Circuit de Catalunya has always been that the two high speed corners before the main straight are so difficult to get close to the guy in front, so you can't overtake. It is safer first of all, and then, just as importantly, it is better for the spectators.
"It will give them the chance to see some overtaking, when at the Spanish Grand Prix, qualifying has been traditionally so important, because your starting position tended to be your finishing position. It will be much more open now."