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HRT planning to give Karthikeyan a full season

ESPNF1 Staff
February 19, 2012 « Reliability essential for Ferrari at Barcelona test - Massa | Red Bull has 'clever development' »
Narain Karthikeyan will drive for HRT this season © Getty Images
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HRT intends to run Narain Karthikeyan for the length of the 2012 season, but warned his position at the team should not be taken for granted.

Karthikeyan was replaced by Daniel Ricciardo at HRT midway through last season, but the team is now under different ownership and management. Team principal Luis Perez-Sala said the plan at the moment is to run Karthikeyan and Pedro de la Rosa at all 20 races.

"The idea as of now is to race him [Karthikeyan] the whole season, but nothing is taken for granted in F1, you have to work for your place in every race," Perez-Sala told the Indo Asian News Service. "But as things stand, Karthikeyan and Pedro will race the entire season."

While de la Rosa was testing the 2011 car last week at Jerez, HRT's new single seater failed two of the FIA's mandatory crash tests. That means the team will sit out next week's Barcelona running altogether.

"We have a new car and a new team. That means, to start with, we will be a little bit behind," Perez-Sala added. "But we believe that sometimes to improve you must go backwards firstly, we have taken one step backwards in order to take two forward. Our target is to grow little by little as the season goes on.

"If we can stay ahead of Marussia, we will be happy and if we get closer to Caterham, then we will be delighted, but our first objective is to get things under way, improve on reliability and progress as the season advances."