HRT fail to qualify in Melbourne

2012 Australian Grand Prix

Narain Karthikeyan, HRT, Melbourne, 2012HRT are likely to miss the Australian Grand Prix for a second year in a row.

Both Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan failed to beat the 107% time in the first part of qualifying.

De la Rosa’s 1’33.495 was 1.2s off the target. Karthikeyan was 0.2s slower than his team mate.

They will only be allowed to start the race if the stewards grant them a dispensation. This is unlikely as they have not lapped within 107% of the quickest time in their limited practice running so far.

The F112 only turned a wheel for the first time in a filming day at the Circuit de Catalunya on the day after F1 testing finished.

Pedro de la Rosa did a single installation lap on Friday after the team were late completing their second car. The FIA postponed scrutineering of the car at HRT’s request.

Karthikeyan was able to run on Friday but his car broke down during both sessions.

The pair ran in Saturday morning practice, completing a total of 25 laps.

2012 Australian Grand Prix

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23 comments on HRT fail to qualify in Melbourne

  1. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 17th March 2012, 6:36

    why “likely” ?

    • AmirAnuar (@amiranuar) said on 17th March 2012, 7:14

      because the steward could permit them to race…. but they way Karthikeyan is driving i hope not

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th March 2012, 7:15

      @fer-no65 – it’s likely because the 107% rule is designed to weed out cars that are clearly not competitive enough to race. Yes, the stewards frequently let drivers who fell under the 107% mark into races last year, but there were always mitigating circumstances like rapidly-changing weather (such as at Spa), or the driver having previously and consistently set times within 107% of the fastest in free practice. When HRT failed to qualify within 107% of the fastest Q1 time in Australia last year, neither car had set a lap time that was fast enough all weekend. The same logic applies here – de la Rosa’s qualifying time, 1.2 seconds behind Kobayashi, is the closest the team has been to 107% of anything all weekend.

  2. pejte (@pejte) said on 17th March 2012, 7:14

    Hope they will NOT be allowed to race. They are slower than my Opel Astra !!! :)

  3. Platanna (@xaviex) said on 17th March 2012, 7:16

    The only thing HRT did today was get in the way. I foresee a troublesome season.

  4. sesku (@sesku) said on 17th March 2012, 8:03

    Hope for news confirming HRT cannot race. please god…

  5. Solo (@solo) said on 17th March 2012, 8:09

    Well at least Karthikeyan was faster than he was last year. De la Rosa failed to do as good time a Luizzi did last year though. Luizzi had a 1:32.9.

  6. vet4 said on 17th March 2012, 8:13

    they are obviously not ready to be operating in the F1 level. brings so much shame to the sport, and introduced outright danger to other drivers.

    I HOPE they don’t get to race.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 17th March 2012, 8:40

      They obviously are ready as they’ve completed two seasons up to this point ahead of their closest competitor.

      • Ben Everard (@beneverard) said on 17th March 2012, 18:10

        I think it fair to say that whilst HRT appear infront of Virgin in the WDC… in reality are the weakest team.

        It was the right decision to prevent them from racing on Sunday… if only someone would have foreseen what a mess they’d cause in qually, perhaps they would have been kicked from that too.

  7. TED BELL said on 17th March 2012, 8:25

    They took a shot at climbing a pretty steep hill and found out that it was a mountain instead. Perhaps lessons will be learned and they will grow from it. It must be tough to be in their shoes right now.

  8. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 17th March 2012, 8:38

    I’d always prefer 24 cars on the grid instead of 22 and I’m really disappointed for HRT. Countless times last year I defended them and argued for their inclusion in races where they failed to meet the 107% time (my argument was based on reasonable practice times), however, this time I can’t.

    This rule was enforced to ensure fluidity throughout the field and I guess ultimately, safety. They shouldn’t be allowed to race, but you won’t catch me whinging about it if they do race.

    It’s encouraging that Karthikeyan was only .2s off De La Rosa as far as the inter-team battle goes.

    Some track time tomorrow would of course be nice, but they’ve survived before and they will continue to do so.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th March 2012, 9:21


      Countless times last year I defended them and argued for their inclusion in races where they failed to meet the 107% time (my argument was based on reasonable practice times)

      The stewards usually let cars into the race based on that. If the driver had demosntrated the ability to set lap times within 107% of the fastest time in at least two of the three practice sessions, then the stewards were generally happy to let them race. They were also willing to accept inclement weather and mecahnical faults as valid reasons for failing to set the expected minimum lap time. I believe Belgium was the only race besides Australia that HRT failed to qualify both cars within 107%. The stewards were willing to let them in because of the abrupt change in the weather.

      • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 17th March 2012, 9:51

        @prisoner-monkeys I think the rule so far has been followed correctly. I can’t really remember HRT causing any significant problems for anyone else last year as a result of their qualifying pace. I think the stewards would prefer more cars on track than not, it’s better for the sport, but there’s little excuse this time.

  9. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th March 2012, 8:39

    HRT’s predicament is an alarming one (for them, at least). When they failed to qualify last year, it was because their 2011-spec front wing had failed to clear Barcelona customs in time, and they were forced to use the 2010 design. This did not work with the rest of the car as intended, and so the team was naturally slow. When they finally did get the 2011 wing for Malaysia, the 107% margin was never a serious problem for them again, and they started every subsequent race.

    But this year, they’re running the aero package they had intended to from the outset. The gap to the 107% margin might not be as extreme as it was in 2011, but unlike 2011, there is no immediately-obvious answer as to how they can fix the problem.

  10. matty55 said on 17th March 2012, 9:58

    Normally I defend the smaller teams but this time I can’t. HRT were a genuine problem for other drivers today. They will cause problems tomorrow if they are allowed to race. Hopefully its a case of lack of track time in the car.

  11. matty55 said on 17th March 2012, 10:01

    Well done to Virgin. They appeared to be in a worse state than HRT before the weekend and there cars qualified and seem reliable.

  12. BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th March 2012, 16:54

    It seems I am in a minority here, but personally I still think its ridiculous that HRT now has to sit out the race after getting the cars to the other side of the world and having them race ready (be it last minute). Its not as if it would lessen the quality of the race nor would it be overly dangerous to have them on the grid.
    Both drivers were getting pretty much solid driving in when they finally got the cars working, and provided they look in their mirrors, the best way to get them to improve their setup and be closer on pace is to give them a much track time as they can get.

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