Hispania Aims to Qualify, Finish Malaysian Grand Prix

Hispania Racing F1 Team promised no repeat of their horrible performance in Australia this weekend, when they'll tackle the second round of the Formula 1 season in Malaysia. In Melbourne, neither Narain Karthikeyan, nor Vitantonio Liuzzi managed to make the grid due to the 107 percent qualifying rule, reducing the field to only 22 cars for the Sunday race.

At Albert Park however, their HRT F111 was doing its first laps in 2011, after a struggling winter during which the Spanish team was unable to complete the single-seater in time for the last test of the off-season, in Barcelona. Having used the time two weekends ago to gather data on the behavior of their car, Hispania now believes their racers will be correctly set up to make the grid in Malaysia.

The expectations for Malaysia are to get back to normality,” admitted team principal Colin Kolles prior to this weekend's race. “We know that the car has potential and we hope that we will be able to get all updates on the cars. The 107 per cent should not be an issue under normal circumstances.

Having tackled this race before with Force India, Vitantonio Liuzzi knows all too well the characteristics of the Sepang circuit and believes the HRT F111 will react well to its demands.

I think Sepang will be a really good track for the F111 because it’s a very technical and demanding track,” said Liuzzi. “It’s a challenging venue for our first proper race but a place where we will get a lot of information on the car. I am really confident and motivated for this race. I’m sure things will be a lot different from Australia because we are better prepared and conscious of what we need to do.

Karthikeyan's only recollection of the Malaysian Grand Prix goes back to 2005, when he was driving for Eddie Jordan's team. Heading back to Sepang this weekend, the Indian racer too expects a better race for Hispania than the one in Australia.

Despite driving the car for very few laps in Australia, I could sense that the F111 has the potential to be an improvement over last years’ machine,” said Karthikeyan. “Our primary goal for the weekend is to get as many miles under our belt as possible. It is only with more and more miles of running that we will be able to begin to understand the F111 and to start extracting its potential. Qualifying for the race and finishing it will be our primary goals for Malaysia.
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