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Karthikeyan: New HRT a step up

2012-03-05 08:00

MORE TESTING NEEDED: HRT's Narain Karthikeyan at a news media conference. He said his team would need at least 24 hours to test ahead of the season-opener in Australia.


LONDON, England - HRT hopes to run its new Formula 1 car for the first time today (March 5) after failing to make the final pre-season test in Spain, driver Narain Karthikeyan said.

Karthikeyan told Reuters that the team sought permission for a filming day at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya so they could get at least 100km of running. He said mechanics at the factory in Inningen, near Augsburg, were working to meet the deadline.

Karthikeyan said: "I've seen the car and it looks a lot better (than last year's). We have a lot of experienced people in the team and every one knows what he is doing. This is not a Mickey Mouse team. We are definitely in a better position than last year."

Karthikeyan is India's first F1 GP driver and the only one to have scored points - a fourth for Jordan in the six-car US joke of a GP in 2005.


The team hasn't scored a point in two seasons and finished 11th out of 12 in 2011.

HRT had hoped to take part in the final Barcelona tests after passing mandatory crash checks last month but Karthikeyan said there had been just too much work to cram into the time available.

No further testing will be allowed until a three-day session scheduled for Italy's Mugello circuit in August. The season will start in Australia on March 18.

Karthikeyan: "We basically needed another 24 hours."

The team, now under Spanish ownership after the departure of previous team principal Colin Kolles, did not race in Australia in 2011 after failing to set the required qualifying time with an untested car. The team also failed to test in 2010.

Marussia, formerly Virgin Racing, has also failed to run its new car before Melbourne and is expected to line up a film day of its own once the car has passed its final mandatory crash test.

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