Christian Klien took over his role of third and reserve driver. The Austrian had not been back in a F1 cockpit since January 2009 but drove the morning practice session in chassis F110-01 #20. The drivers completed respectively 26 laps for the Austrian in the first practice, for a best lap time of 1.27.250 while Bruno Senna in chassis F110-02 #21 covered 27 laps with a best time of 1.27.752.
In the second ninety minutes during the free practice in the afternoon, the track remained dry and temperatures rose to 16°C. The two cars and three drivers managed to work smoothly over the two sessions which is very positive, adding 101 laps to the 4.200 kilometers already driven since the start of the season at Bahrain by Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna.
Dr. Colin Kolles: “First of all, we want to thank FIA and Mr. Ecclestone for their support to make it possible in that short period of time Christian Klien got his super license and consequently was allowed to drive this morning. We used the time off since China and despite delay getting our cars back we conducted some dyno-tests to increase the performance. We need to continue to improve reliability with the car and take advantage of the upgrades. Today, the HRT F1 Team continued its development program. None of our drivers needed to learn about the circuit, so they were able to start the work right away and made a further improvement barely six seconds off the leading pace. I am pleased to see the team push hard.”
Karun Chandhok: “I am quite pleased with the job I did this afternoon after not taking part in the first practice session. I managed to get up to speed quite quickly and ended up with a verycompetitive lap time. We had some issues with the brakes but I am sure we will be able to fix it in time for tomorrow morning's session. It was really good to hear Christian's comments and interesting to hear that they were similar to mine. All in all a good day as we managed to complete our planned program for the day and will now concentrate on getting the car prepared for qualifying tomorrow."
Bruno Senna: “The practice was okay and we fulfilled the testing program. There were no major problems and I am looking forward to improve car balance. We’ll see what we can achieve at the end of the weekend. The air temperature here was not very warm today. A pity because it was difficult to get tire temperatures right. The second session was a good practice again. We fulfilled our program without any problems. We are looking forward to the qualifying tomorrow."
Christian Klien: “It was a bit exciting today as I got my super license only ten minutes before the start of the first practice session. Fortunately, everything had been prepared perfectly and then I was allowed to jump into the car. I had 90 great minutes in the car. It was my first time in the car since January last year and felt right away perfect and a good experience to drive again in a race week-end. I was right away able to feel the limits of the car and posted constant times which will help the engineers of the team. Everything worked well and we had no technical problems and that’s also why I’m happy with the first session and to be here with HRT F1 Team. I was able to give them important feedback to improve in terms of set up and my work with top team will help them. It is never easy with a young team and a brand new car. My work is not over though and I will still debrief with the engineers.”