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'We don't want to bullshit ourselves' - Karthikeyan

ESPNF1 Staff
March 17, 2012 « HRT refused permission to race | Mercedes 'a bit disappointed' with qualifying »
Narain Karthikeyan struggled with a lack of power steering during qualifying in Australia © Getty Images

Narain Karthikeyan insists HRT could have qualified in Melbourne but that it will be equally hard for the team to do so in Malaysia next week.

After both Karthikeyan and Pedro de la Rosa were outside the 107% time in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix the race stewards decided that the team would not be allowed to race. Karthikeyan said that a number of significant problems cost him substantial lap time and that the car could have been quick enough to qualify.

"I didn't have the DRS working and had issues with the power steering, so we could have easily been in," he told Autosport. "The DRS alone is worth about nine tenths, and the power steering is virtually non-existent, it's almost impossible to drive. I think the problem is that they hydraulics are getting so hot, the viscosity of the fluid is thinner."

HRT's attention now turns to Malaysia, but Karthikeyan said that he was expecting another battle to qualify after admitting to being "under a false impression" regarding the new F112.

"It's going to be damn hard in Malaysia. It's going to be a lot hotter and we have cooling problems already, so it's going to be very hard. We don't want to bullshit ourselves; it's going to be very difficult.

"With HRT I was under a false impression with the new car. I obviously knew there would be problems but I thought we could get in, and I am very wrong. I don't see it as a long-term problem but I won't be surprised if Malaysia is the same situation. Back to backs in a situation like this is almost impossible; we have a few small remedies but to work on the hydraulics is a humungous job. It won't happen overnight. By China we should be okay, relatively speaking."