Karthikeyan Confident New Wing Will Qualify HRT for Malaysia Grid

Hispania Racing F1 Team had a weekend to forget in Australia, as it struggled with getting its car on the track from the early stages of the first practice session on Friday until the last minute of Q1 on Saturday. Not to mention that they had to watch the entire race on TV, as neither of their two F111 cars made the grid for the Sunday race.

What happened was that the nose of their newly-launched F111 did not pass the FIA crash tests prior to the race Down Under, which meant the Hispania mechanics had to fit a 2010-spec front wing on the car before practice. That obviously had a performance effect on the racer – we're not sure how much though – as neither Vitantonio Liuzzi, nor Narain Karthikeyan were able to take it within the 107 percent qualifying margin imposed by the FIA.

Nevertheless, Karthikeyan agreed that the aforementioned rule is positive for racing in 2011 and sustains the idea that too slower cars should not be allowed to race this season.

Basically, they don't want jokers to come in,” said Karthikeyan. “We respect the 107 per cent rule. We are a serious team. When it all gets kicking off, I think we are going to surprise a few people,” he added.

That being said, the Indian driver argued that Hispania will make it to the grid in Malaysia, two weekends from now, as long as the team gets everything fixed with the new wing. Just as a reminder, Liuzzi was 7 seconds off pace in Q1 last Saturday, while Karthikeyan was two further seconds behind.

If we get the new front wing ... not if, we are going to get it,” he stressed. “We are reasonably confident that we will qualify and if all these things happen then we don't have any excuse not to qualify for Malaysia.
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