HRT hopes to qualify with new wing - Karthikeyan

By on Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mar.30 (GMM) Narain Karthikeyan insists he supports F1's 107 per cent rule and is confident he will be quick enough to qualify for the second event of his return to the sport.

Struggling Spanish team HRT had a horror opening weekend of its second season, hardly running at all in practice and then not lapping quick enough to qualify for the Australian race.

When the F111 finally did get up and running in Melbourne, it featured the 2010 front wing cobbled onto the new chassis, after the 2011 nose failed a mandatory crash test.

"If we get the new front wing ... not if, we are going to get it," Indian Karthikeyan told Reuters ahead of next weekend's Malaysian grand prix.

"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," he said.

Many insiders will be surprised if the car does qualify at Sepang, but Karthikeyan insists the 107 per cent rule - having returned for 2011 after a long absence - is right for formula one.

"Basically, they don't want jokers to come in," he said. "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.

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