- HRT News
'107% should not be an issue' - Kolles
HRT team principal Colin Kolles has said that the team should not be troubled by the 107% qualifying rule in Malaysia.
After not running its new car in testing and struggling to get both ready for practice in Australia, the first proper running the team did with the new F111 was during qualifying in Melbourne, which saw both Tonio Liuzzi and Narain Karthikeyan fail to qualify. Despite an appeal, they were not allowed to race, so travel to Malaysia having had very little track time.
Kolles says that while it wants to add to the limited mileage during the weekend, qualifying within the 107% time should not be a problem for the team.
"The expectations for Malaysia are to get back to normality," Kolles said. "We know that the car has potential and we hope that we will be able to get all updates on the cars. The 107% should not be an issue under normal circumstances. The target is to do as many laps as possible in free practice in order to prepare for the qualifying session and for the race."
Karthikeyan had a frustrating time in Melbourne and didn't get on track until Saturday, but he says the time he did spend at the wheel has given him encouragement for the weekend ahead.
"Despite driving the car for very few laps in Australia, I could sense that the F111 has the potential to be an improvement over last years' machine," Karthikeyan said. "Sepang is a very demanding track technically, both for the driver and the car. It will be a good proving ground for the F111."
He did make a less bold prediction than Kolles however, warning that as well as doing more running HRT's aim had to be to qualifying for the race.
"Our primary goal for the weekend is to get as many miles under our belt as possible. It is only with more and more miles of running that we will be able to begin to understand the F111 and to start extracting its potential. Qualifying for the race and finishing it will be our primary goals for Malaysia."
Vitantonio Liuzzi was two seconds quicker than his team-mate in qualifying in Australia, and he said he was confident that the team was now more prepared, and was looking forward to an improved showing in Sepang.
"I think Sepang will be a really good track for the F111 because it's a very technical and demanding track," Liuzzi said. "It's a challenging venue for our first proper race but a place where we will get a lot of information on the car. I am really confident and motivated for this race. I'm sure things will be a lot different from Australia because we are better prepared and conscious of what we need to do."