HRT has insisted that its new car will be in action before the opening round of the new F1 season despite running into delays with its plans for 2012.

The team has undergone extensive restructuring in recent months after a change of ownership during the 2011 campaign, which has led to suggestion that - for a third straight year - the team was in a race against time to carry out any pre-season testing.

While team principal Luis Perez-Sala wasn't available for interview, a spokeswoman for the Spanish team told the BBC that the team was working towards running the new car for the first time in the second test of the year, which will take place in Barcelona.

The new car is reported to have started its FIA crash tests, which it is required to pass before it will allowed to take part in any on-track action.

"Luis Perez-Sala is fully focused at the moment on the car and the new structure, and he prefers not to give any statements or interviews to the press for now until everything is in place," the spokeswoman said.

"Rumours that we will take part in the initial grands prix with the 2011 car are not true. The target is to be at the second [pre-season] test with the new car.

"There's been, and still is, a lot to work on but, even if we may struggle in the beginning, the structure that is being built now is a lot more solid, reliable and committed. Hopefully, we'll be able to prove all that soon and change the team's perception, which is no longer real. It won't be a bed of roses but we'll manage to do it."

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