Despite missing the final pre-season test at Barcelona, HRT have managed to get their get in Spain at 1 o'clock on Monday, allowing the team to do a shakedown run as a filming day. The team will head off to Australia straight away, where it will be tested more in the free practice sessions.
All the hard work has finally paid off today as the F112, the car with which HRT Formula 1 Team will compete this season, completed its first laps at the Circuit de Catalunya, in Barcelona.
Since the car passed the last crash test and was homologated, the team has carried out work shifts to cover 24 hours a day to make sure it could make it, for the first time in its history, to the first Grand Prix of the season having run previously.
The car was able to run after the team took advantage of one of the filming days available during the season.
The car made it to the circuit from Munich, Germany, just after one in the afternoon and the mechanics and engineers got straight down to business, working on relevant adjustments. It was a combined team effort, working against the clock, which saw its rewards four hours later when Narain Karthikeyan led the car out onto the track. Pedro de la Rosa, Dani Clos and Tonio Liuzzi were also present, as were Carlos Gracia, President of the Spanish Motorsports Federation and Salvador Servià, General Director of the Circuit de Catalunya.
The tests were carried out without any setbacks and the car carried out over ten laps. The team was able to check that the car functioned properly both from a mechanical and aerodynamic point of view as from a systems standpoint.
The team will prepare the necessary material in the upcoming days and head down under for the first Grand Prix of the season which will take place at Melbourne, Australia, in just two weeks.
Narain Karthikeyan: "Today was a shakedown of the F112 and I have had the honour to be the first driver to test it. The first impressions are quite good; it’s definitely a step up from last year. We couldn’t do any set-up work or stuff like that but everything seems to be working fine and there are no major problems so we can look forward to the season now. Everyone has worked hard and the new team management has put everything together in a very short period of time. They’ve done a proper job with the car and I’m sure that it’s a big step forward from last year, so hopefully we can take the competition to the teams we were fighting last year”.
Pedro de la Rosa: "Today has been a very special day because the car saw the light for the first time; Narain did some installation laps and then various times laps without any issues. This is very important, it might not seem like it, but any sort of mileage before Australia is vital to see that the car is in good conditions. From here it is our job to try and improve it and make it progress”.
Luis Péres-Sala, Team Principal: "I’m very satisfied today as it is a very important day for us because we were able to test some things out with the new car during this filming day. I’m very proud of each and every member of this team because everyone has contributed their little bit for this to be possible. Now we have to focus on Australia because we still have a lot ahead”.