Despite the optimistic tone of its post-Jerez comments, and the excitement surrounding its relocation to Madrid's Caja Magica, HRT will not
now have its new car ready for the second test of the winter.
Senior driver Pedro de la Rosa
had ended the team's recent two-day outing by saying how much he was looking forward to getting his hands on the new F112 in Barcelona later this month, but delays in the build process now means that the team faces a race against time to be ready for the third and final pre-season outing, also at the Circuit de Catalunya, at the beginning of March.
de la Rosa admitted that the F112's presence at the second test was largely dependent on it successfully passing the mandatory FIA crash tests - a process which must now be completed before testing rather than the opening round - but the team yesterday revealed that the car failed on two counts 'by a minor margin'.
The failures are thought to surround the roll hoop and nose section tests, and the work needed to redesign and/or strengthen the parts - a job still being carried out in Germany despite the team's planned relocation to Spain - presents too tight a timetable to make Barcelona.
"14 crash tests passed, chasis [sic
] approved but the 2 that failed (by minor margin) prevent us to have the car ready for BCN1 test," the team confirmed on its official Twitter
It is not yet clear whether the team will now take part in this month's Barcelona session. Tail-end rival Marussia Racing skipped this week's Jerez test to concentrate on the delayed build of its new car, while Mercedes conducted just three days of work in southern Spain, using its 2011 chassis to concentrate on evaluating the new range of Pirelli tyres. de la Rosa ran for the first two days of the same test to get acquainted with his new team and adjust to the latest rubber.
Narain Karthikeyan returns to HRT as its second driver for 2012, and would be the most likely candidate for any work in Barcelona should the team decide to attend.