MARCH 17, 2012
HRT to miss Australian GP
HRT drivers Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan will not take part in the Australian Grand Prix after failing to qualify within 107 percent of pole position.
The rule has rarely been enforced in recent years, and the Spanish team asked the stewards of the race to allow them to compete tomorrow. The four-man panel of stewards, which includes ex-formula 1 driver Johnny Herbert rejected the request, and for the second straight year HRT will not participate in the opening race.
The team has struggled to get its new chassis ready for the season, and after failing the crash tests did not get the new car running for pre-season testing.
Team principal Luis Perez-Sala said, "It's obvious that we still have a lot of work ahead to be where we should be and even more to improve on that potential, but today was the first time we were able to complete both sessions with both cars and that is positive. Although today wasn't the result we desired, we've fixed some of yesterday's issues and were able to spot out the weakest points. Now we can work on them and find a solution. These solutions aren't immediate but with every day and every session we're in better conditions. Time is precious and next week in Malaysia we'll have another four sessions to prepare for the next race."