HRT aiming for mileage
Spanish team looking to gather data in Malaysia
By William Esler. Last Updated: 21/03/12 1:38pm
HRT didn't have the best of weekends in Australia
HRT are looking for a better weekend in Malaysia after failing to qualify for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
The Spanish outfit didn't have their 2012 challenger ready in time to take part in any of the pre-season tests, and the team's first meaningful running came at Albert Park.
Even making it out in Melbourne was a struggle for HRT, who had to ask the FIA to delay scrutineering of Pedro de la Rosa's car, to give them time to finish building it.
Neither car posted a time in first practice, whilst Narain Karthikeyan lapped over 13 seconds off the pace in the second session.
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With limited running, the team finished the first part of qualifying over seven seconds slower than Sauber's Kamui Kobayahsi and outside the 107 per cent rule.
This weekend the team are looking to clock up valuable mileage around the Sepang circuit as they look to close the gap to Marussia, and make the race start.
"It wasn't an easy first weekend for us in Melbourne but the team is working hard and we hope to complete the maximum amount of kilometres with the new car so that we can have it in prime conditions for qualifying and the race," said Karthikeyan.
"The team is working on solving the reliability issues that we encountered, so I'm confident that things will go better in Malaysia. Sepang is a circuit that I like a lot and a place where I have raced numerous times."
De la Rosa added: "Our two main priorities for Malaysia are to have DRS and improve the power steering in this short time that we have whilst being away from Europe.
"In Australia we were only able to complete 7 timed laps so I need get more track time, get to know the car better and improve the set-up.
"If we can achieve this then we could have a good Grand Prix. Sepang is probably the toughest track of the year both for car and driver.
"Mechanically it's very demanding because besides there being a lot of consecutive high-speed corners it is very hot and humid. Cooling is key for the car as is hydration for the driver".