Mission accomplished: Hispania will be on the starting grid

Narain Karthikeyan, Hispania Racing Team, HRT
Narain Karthikeyan, Hispania Racing Team, HRT

Photo by: xpb.cc

Kuala Lumpur, 9th of April 2011Sepang International Circuit

13.00-14.00 FORMULA 1 PRACTICE SESSION 3Narain Karthikeyan F111-03 #22 24th (11 laps) 1:43.383Vitantonio Liuzzi F111-02 #23 23rd (6 laps) 1:43.147

16.00-17.00 FORMULA 1 QUALIFYING SESSIONNarain Karthikeyan F111-03 #22 24th (7 laps) 1:42.574Vitantonio Liuzzi F111-02 #23 23rd (7 laps) 1:41.549

Both Hispania Racing cars will be on the starting grid tomorrow in Sepang for the Malaysian Grand Prix. On a dry and hot track (track temperature surpassed 40ºC), Narain Karthikeyan and Vitantonio Liuzzi did a superb job. The pair overcame a few mechanical problems in the morning’s practice session in order to qualify for tomorrow’s race.

Colin Kolles, Hispania Racing Team Principal:

“We made the next step by qualifying into the race. This was our target: to qualify and to be able to do more laps. By doing more miles we are understanding the F111 better and our drivers are getting more and more out of it. Both drivers did a good job out there today, Tonio set a very good baseline. Now we have set a base from which to work from in the future.”“Once more, I would like to thank the whole team for their massive effort. Now we have our next target in mind which is to keep doing laps and finish tomorrow’s race with both cars.”

Narain Karthikeyan, driver #22:

We made it through qualifying which was our aim for today

Narain Karthikeyan

“We made it through qualifying which was our aim for today. The car is virtually brand new so it’s good to get some more mileage done, the more time we can get out on the track the better. I flat spotted my second set of tyres on turn one so it was hard to set a good time with them after that but everybody worked extremely hard and we’re delighted to be in the race”.“We marked Sepang on the calendar beforehand as one of the toughest circuits to get under the 107% time so it’s a great satisfaction to have done it. Now I hope to finish tomorrow’s race and get a lot more laps under my belt with the new car. They’re forecasting rain for tomorrow so you never know what will happen out there.”

Vitantonio Liuzzi, driver #23:

This is just the first step for Hispania Racing

Vitantonio Liuzzi

“It’s great for everyone that we were well under 107%. We proved that in Australia the problem wasn’t a matter of pace but a matter of time out on the track, we had half a day of testing compared to the three months other teams did. You can’t just gain mileage out of nothing. Now we have to work hard in the following months, in the next races to try and close the gap. This is just the first step for Hispania Racing, we’ve done a great job and we’ve improved the car a lot from Australia to now. I’m proud of the work done by everybody, starting with when they got the car on the ground in Australia and now having got it in good condition here in Sepang. We had a few minor issues both yesterday and today but that is normal when you’re working with such little time. I think we can still improve, I did a good lap and this is the result: we will be on the grid tomorrow”.

Source: Hispania Racing