Formula One rookie Bruno Senna has called on the powers that be to allow the sport's newcomers additional track time in a bid to make them more competitive when the schedule heads to Europe.
Speaking ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, and reflecting on a fraught debut for the new Hispania Racing Team in Bahrain two weeks ago, the Brazilian claimed that a chance to hone his car would not only allow HRT to work on the reliability problems that caused both his and team-mate Karun Chandhok's cars to sit out large parts of the opening round, but also to make them less of a concern for the faster runners.
"It was a pretty big challenge," Senna said of Bahrain, "The team arrived there with no previous preparation and everything had to be done there, so we struggled a little bit. We couldn't learn from previous experience, so we had to do everything on the few laps we had and it didn't make our lives easy, but the team still did a pretty amazing job to be there and get both cars on the grid."
Despite there being two weeks between races, the 'flyaway' nature of the early part of the schedule mitigates against teams making major changes to their cars, leaving Senna and Chandhok wondering whether their luck will turn in Melbourne - and both Malaysia and China after that.
"Obviously, there is a big check list of things that need to be changed [but], with no testing and no time to test between the first two races, there are no big changes - a few changes but not enough," the Brazilian confirmed. "However, we hope that, by Europe, we can have some updates, some new things on the car, which will improve performance and reliability.
"I think, both for the new teams and the new drivers, it is very important to get some miles of testing. It would be great for us if we could test a little bit when we get to Europe after the first races, as we could take many of the kinks - the very basic things that we could have been able to sort out with a few miles of testing - and get them sorted out. I believe that it would make everyone's life much better if we were a bit quicker and more prepared - both the new teams and the current teams, considering that these guys have to overtake us a few more times than necessary."
Senna confirmed that it was a minor problem that eventually sidelined him in Bahrain, while team-mate Chandhok shouldered the majority of the gremlins that beset the HRT team during the weekend, missing all of free practice before finally turning his first F1 laps in qualifying. The Indian then lasted into its second lap before a bump in the road pitched him into the barriers.
"I didn't have so many problems with the hydraulics [which troubled Chandhok]," Senna noted, "There were a few problems with the clutch but, on my car, the hydraulics were fairly reliable. The problem we had in the race was just a metal brace that broke on the water radiator pipes, so the engine ran out of water.
"These little things have been fixed, so I think we should be able to finish the race, that's our objective this time, finish the race. Hopefully we will be able to do that. We were quite close to finishing the race last time out. It was a shame that we got that problem, but it was just because of no testing. These sorts of problems happen when the installation is very new. They are not supposed to happen in public really."